The Apostle Paul by his own admission in Chapter 1:2 of this letter was Timothy?s father in the faith. After founding the church at Ephesus, Paul ordained and appointed Timothy as the pastor. The letters he wrote to Timothy (his son in the faith) were letters of instructions and encouragement as he sought to navigate the choppy waters of pastoral ministry. There were those in that first century congregation teaching other doctrines of fables and genealogies Paul said in Verse 4 of Chapter 1, which ministered questions rather than godly edifying (1:4). He told Timothy to teach a doctrine of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (1:15). Paul said that the law was not made for the righteous but for the unrighteous, the disobedient, the ungodly, and for sinners ? (1:9). It was this doctrine of grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the apostle said, that saved sinners, with him being chief among them (1:15). Faith in Jesus Christ, Paul said, was a doctrine worthy of acceptance by all (1:15b).
After instructing Timothy in the faith, Paul encouraged him by praying for him. Paul?s prayer for Timothy was that Timothy would pray for others. ?Pray for all men,? Paul said in Verse 1 of Chapter 2. Paul?s prayer was that Timothy would pray for everybody. ?Pray prayers of supplication,? he told Timothy, ?that God might supply all their needs [according to God?s richest in glory]. Pray that God might fill every void and empty place in their lives. Pray that God might fulfill every holy desire in their hearts.? Paul exhorted Timothy to pray prayers of supplication.
Then he exhorted him to pray prayers of intercession. ?Plead with God on behalf of everybody. Plead with God that God might deal with your petition. Plead with God,? Paul told Timothy, ?so much so that God might act on your petition. Plead with God that God might hear and respond to your petition.?
Then Paul exhorted Timothy to pray prayers of thanksgiving. ?Thank God,? Paul told Timothy, ?for hearing your petition. Thank God in anticipation for God?s imminent response to your petition. Thank God as an act of gratitude for what God is about to do in response to what you?ve ask God to do. Thank God as an act of joyful agreement with God for however God chooses to answer your petition.? Paul prayed that Timothy would pray prayers of thanksgiving for everybody.
This is our prayer as well today. We?re praying prayers of supplication for families and loved ones who are victims of prostate cancer. We?re praying that God will supply their every need. We?re praying that God will fill every void and every empty place in their lives. We?re praying that God will fulfill every longing and every broken place in their hearts.
Then we are praying prayers of intercession for those with prostate cancer. We?re pleading with God on their behalf. We?re pleading with God that doctors will make appropriate diagnosis and appropriate treatment modalities for their respective disease states. We?re pleading with God that diagnosis of prostate cancer might be detected earlier in the disease state. We?re pleading with God, that researchers might discover markers that will help in detecting this disease earlier. We?re pleading with God, to use surgeons, and radiologists, and oncologists as instrument of cure and care. We?re pleading with God, that God might deal with this disease by increasing education and increasing awareness of this dreaded disease among all men. We?re pleading with God to prick the hearts of men in general and African American men in particular to get examined and checked (PSA) routinely. We?re pleading with God on behalf of all men.
Then we?re praying prayers of thanksgiving for those who are prostate cancer survivors. We thank God for concerned and compassionate healthcare professionals. We thank God for early detection. We thank God for proper diagnosis. We thank God for successful treatment modalities. We thank God for urologists, and radiologists, and oncologists. We thank God for healing that God has already done and we thank God for the healing that God will do. We?re grateful and are in joyful agreement with God?s desire of health and wholeness for everybody.
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February of this year (2011). I had surgery on April 15, 2011. While at home recovering from surgery, my doctor?s office called me on Good Friday. When I answered the phone the physician assistant said ?Reverend, we got your pathology report from the laboratory and I had to call you today. I wanted to give you some good news on Good Friday. Your tumors were contained within the prostate gland itself. No cells were detected in the lymph nodes. No cells were detected in the margins and no cells were detected in adjacent organs. You are cancer free with no more treatment necessary. No radiation, no chemotherapy, no hormone therapy, no treatment of any kind is necessary. Just have your PSA checked,? he said, ?every ninety days for the next year.? After hearing some good news on Good Friday all I could say was ?Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, you brought me from a mighty, mighty, long way.? I?m praying prayers of thanksgiving because God heard my supplications, and my intercessions, and inclined the ear of God toward my petition.
And because God did, Paul said that we should live quiet and peaceable lives in godliness and honesty for that is good and acceptable in the sight of the Lord (VV.2-3). In concluding this pericope in Verse 8 he says everywhere we go we ought lift up holy hands and give thanks to God for Jesus Christ; a ransom for all. Give thanks to God for Jesus Christ; our mediator and our redeemer. Give thanks to God for Jesus Christ; our doctor in a sick room. Give thanks to God for Jesus Christ; our surgeon in the operating room. Don?t know about you, but I will give thanks to God everywhere I go for Jesus Christ my healer. I will give thanks everywhere I go for Jesus Christ my deliverer from the snares of cancer. Everywhere I go, I will tell somebody about Jesus Christ my doctor when I needed a doctor. Everywhere I go, I will lift up holy hands in gratitude and joyful agreement with God for God?s gracious gift of Jesus Christ. Amen!