We are in week three of a study in 1 Timothy. The focus each week is to read, study, understand, and apply Paul’s advice for how to best navigate the challenges of life. Last week we looked at the importance of the gospel to our life. This week we look at: How to Navigate Life: Prayer is our Motor.
I remember the week very clearly. On a Monday the motor in one car stopped working, and on Thursday down went our second car. The diagnosis on both vehicles: blown head gaskets. Even writing that phrase makes me groan. That’s one of those car problems that leads you to doing a cost evaluation on whether or not to repair or replace your vehicle (well, at least on the “back row beauty” used vehicles I’ve typically driven). The reality with any vehicle is that no matter how neat and shiny the exterior, no matter how many cool gadgets it has, or how sweet its interior is, without a working motor it simply isn’t going to do its intended job of getting you where you need to go.
I would argue that, in life prayer, is our motor. It is the thing that keeps us going and connected to God in the best and worst of moments. It is prayer we humbly turn to when we’ve accomplished something great, giving God the glory and honor for it. It is prayer we should turn to when we’ve messed up royally in life, pleading for His mercy and forgivingness. And its prayer we should be turning to when the wheels are falling off and the head gaskets of life are blowing up, asking for God’s help and guidance. Look at how Paul puts it in his letter to Timothy:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
I love how simply and powerfully Paul puts this concept. He makes it clear that everyone needs prayer as their motor in life, even kings and those in other high positions. Paul also tells us a little about how to pray: to ask for the things we desperately need (supplication), to pray for God to intervene and help when we cannot help ourselves or others (intercession), and to give God the glory and honor for the good, both big and small, we have in our life (thanksgiving). Notice too that Paul doesn’t say our prayers should just be directed at ourselves, but at all people. He also makes it clear that prayer is the engine propelling us to “a peaceful and quiet life, godlly and dignified in every way.” As you go about your week, don’t forget to make prayer a top priority. It is, after all, the engine that drives our life today, tomorrow, and for all eternity.