Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Growing Through Prayer – Week Two – Day 1

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Day One – Read 1 Timothy 2:8 ESV   SOAP I Timothy 2:8WK2D1

Here we are,   (Don Moen)-

I Timothy 1:8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

O – Paul’s desire is that we pray – everywhere (in every place).  To lift up holy hands – in the right attitude with God – and with others.  The lifting of hands is a response to God – a release, relinquishment, an act of reaching towards Him.  Psalm 119:48 (ESV) states:  “I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.”    Psalm 24:4 (ESV) also states that “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.”  Clean hands, uplifted hands are a sign of holiness in the book of Psalms.

First, prayer that is acceptable must come from holy, purified hearts. The physical lifting of hands was important in the Jewish act of prayer. But the purity of the hands, originally a physical prerequisite to be fulfilled before one approached God (Ex 30:19-21), came to be symbolic of the condition of the heart. The early church understood such purity to be a condition of acceptable prayer (Jas 4:8). When we pray, our communication is with a holy God. He requires of us that we deal with our sins before making our approach.

Second, prayer that is acceptable must come from people in right relationship with one another. For this reason Paul adds the stipulation that our prayer be without anger or disputing. This principle too was widely known in the early church and goes back to Jesus’ own teaching(Mt 5:23; 6:12, 14-15; Jas 4:3; 1 Pet 3:7). Simply put, difficulties in our relationship with God or in our relationship with fellow believers can hinder our prayer.  ( – IVP New Testament Commentary)

A –  When I go to God in prayer, I need to approach Him in the right way.  Not a set of actions, but a heart attitude.  Yes, I have complete and total access to the throne of God, and will receive grace and mercy (last week – Hebrews 4:15-16), BUT I still need to approach Him as the Holy God.  I need to be in the right heart attitude – with Him and with others.  Can I “expect” Him to answer my prayers if my heart is not right?  Can I demand His answers?  Can I be holy but not in right relationships?  NO.  My access to the throne is dependent upon my own heart action and attitude.

P – Father God – You are the Holy God, the God over all gods, and You give me access to Your throne.  You desire my relationship with You.  Yet – You demand holiness.   Give me a heart that follows hard after You – that desires Your presence in my life – that lives in holiness with (and beyond) my access to Your throne.  Help me to live for You – and to come to You in clear conscience and devotion.  Thank You for Your desire for my relationship with You.


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