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All In

December 18, 2010

 1First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.7For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.8Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. 1 Timothy 2:1-8

Paul was “all in,” and he wanted Timothy to be, and the Ephesians. I’m always on the lookout for repeated words in scripture passages, and “all” is prominently used in these verses. Now this is not necessarily a scholarly approach to Bible study, pulling out all the phrases with the same English word, but it does tend to identify matters the writer deems important.

First of all, Paul places prayer first of all! Then he lists prayer in all of its iterations; general (“entreaties”), specific (“petitions”), worshipful (“prayers”) and grateful (“thanksgivings”), to be made on behalf of all men and all in authority, so we can live in all godliness. Then Paul notes God’s desire that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, that Jesus paid the ransom for all. Finally, he wants men in every place (all places) to pray with no sin against God or one another, or even a bad attitude, hindering the transmission.

Want to connect with God on the first try all the time? Be all in.

Note: Try this approach on Psalm 62. Clue: “only.”

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