14 July 2015

1 Timothy 2:1-7

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone...” (v. 1)

Psalm: Psalm 41


Today's reading is a reminder of a central belief of the Christian faith: that God is for everyone and desires that all people come to know God's love.

I have never met anyone who takes this charge more seriously than the Revd Steve Wild, the current President of the Methodist Conference - though perhaps 'seriously' isn't the right word as I don't think I've ever come across someone so full of joy and laughter and life.

In his inaugural address to the 2015 Methodist Conference, Steve implored us all, "Let's take God seriously. I want to help us in the task of evangelism, to put mission on the agenda and give our churches an aim to win a person for Christ." That's a pretty daunting prospect for those of us (including me) who find the idea of evangelism more than a little unsettling - it's not that I'm not in favour of faith-sharing, nor that I think it's not my responsibility - I just feel ill-equipped, as if I don't know where to begin.

Luckily, the author of today's passage gives us a clue: "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone...". Prayer is the beginning of all evangelism and must be the first priority of those seeking to follow God's call. Those of us who don't know where to begin needn't despair and we mustn't allow ourselves to be paralysed at the thought of the task God has set before us. Instead, we should return to our knees in prayer, trusting that we will be equipped to respond to that call.

To Ponder

  • What would it mean for you to 'take God seriously'?
  • How do you respond when daunted by a task that has been set before you?

Bible notes author

Anna Drew

Anna Drew is Director of Communications for the Diocese of Canterbury. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Daily Service and Prayer for the Day and a freelance writer on faith issues.