Crossroads: Pray for Everyone

Crossroads_family_web

1 Timothy 2:1-7

Your Story

Who do you pray for? How do you pray? Talk to your kids about the different ways you pray, and the people you pray for specifically. If you pray specifically for your kids, tell them.

My Story and the Bible Story

When I was a kid, I wanted to pray for everyone. Every night as we said prayers at bedtime, I always added “God bless the whole world.” Every time we had prayer request time at GAs, one of my requests was for “the whole world.” Looking back, I realize that it may be a little silly to pray for the whole world. But, at the same time, the world needs our prayers. Our lives are better when we have God in them. Our lives are better when we take time to talk to God. The lives of others are different because we (and others) pray for them. Prayer is important, and my little kid self knew that the whole world needed it.

Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7. From The Message: “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so that we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and only this has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.”

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.” Prayer is so important that Paul told Timothy that it needed to be the first thing he did. And Paul didn’t just tell Timothy to pray for the people he liked, or to only pray for other Christians. Instead, Paul told Timothy to pray for everyone he knew, including the rulers and government officials. In the time of the New Testament, the government didn’t always treat Christians very well. In fact, there were times when rulers went out of their way to punish Christians simply because they believed in Jesus. There were times when it was pretty hard to like the government because they were the ones punishing and hurt people. But Paul tells Timothy to pray for them. Paul tells Timothy to pray for everyone, including those people with whom Timothy disagreed. If Paul were writing to us today, he would tell us to pray for everyone. This includes your friends, yes, but also bullies, people in jail, people who have a lot less or a lot more than you do. He would also tell us to pray for our government. It doesn’t matter if you agree with the leaders’ decisions, Paul would tell us to pray for them. He would tell you to pray for your teachers and your principal, even when they make decisions that you don’t like.

Prayer is powerful. Prayer has the power to change the world. Prayer is our conversation with the God of the Universe, and we know that God listens to us. Prayer can change the heart of a bully so that they stop hurting others. It can change the lives of people in jail. Prayer can change anyone. And it also changes us. When we pray for others, it is harder to hate them. When we pray for those who bully us or disagree with us, we remind ourselves that God created them just like God created us. Prayer can change their hearts but it also can change ours. We pray for everyone so that our world can change. We pray that others will see God so that their hearts can be changed like ours were. As you pray this week, pray for your friends and for your family. But also pray for everyone you know, the people you like and the people that you don’t. And pray for our leaders, that they will know what is best for our country.

Action and Discussion

• Talk about different ways to pray. (If you need some ideas about different ways to pray, listen to our podcast here. You can also find different ways to pray online.) Ask your children which idea they like best and why.
• Practice praying in a unique way this week. At the end of the week, ask your family if their prayers felt different because they were praying differently.
• Ask you kids about who they pray for, then help them think of other people they can pray for.

Prayer

Ask God for help in you pray for people you don’t like. Pray for everyone you know. Pray for our leaders. Thank God for always hearing our prayers.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Print Friendly