WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 3, 2022
TOPIC: ARE YOU PRAYING WITHOUT ANGER AND QUARRELING?
BY T. O. BANSO
“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling” (1 Timothy 2:8 Revised Standard Version).
Whereas God answers prayers, it is not every time that a believer prays or believers gather to pray that we get answers. Different factors could be responsible for this, whether we are praying individually or corporately.
It is one thing to pray and another thing to avoid doing what will hinder our prayers. In some cases, people gather physically to pray but they’re not in agreement spiritually. They are not on the same page. They could just be praying for praying’s sake. This is wrong.
How could people gather to pray and, for example, bicker over who should lead the prayer, the prayer points, the duration of the prayer, and so on? In such a situation, they sabotage themselves. Why waste time praying in such a toxic atmosphere?
Paul said, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Timothy 2:8 New King James Version). This is very important. He didn’t say men should pray in the Temple but everywhere – private and public. As Jesus said, the hour was coming when the Father would not be worshipped on Mount Gerizim or in Jerusalem but the true worshipers would worship the Father in spirit and truth (John 4:21, 23). The hour has since come.
In 1 Timothy 2:8, Paul addressed men but in the subsequent verses talked about women. Nevertheless, I believe what he said in verse 8 applies to men and women today.
Lifting up hands, while praying, was a common practice among the Jews and the early Christians. Some non-Christians do the same in their religions. To lift up holy hands means to lift up hands that are not defiled by sin. Paul equally said that as they lifted up holy hands, there should be no wrath and doubting. In other words, wrath and doubting will hinder their prayers. When you pray alone or with others, are your hands holy? Are you free of wrath and doubting?
David said, “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Psalm 24:3-5 New King James Version). In Psalm 63:4b, David also said he would lift up his hands in the name of the LORD. Psalm 134:2 says, “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD” (New King James Version). As we pray, we must ensure that we lift up holy hands to God, hands that are pure, undefiled, or unstained by sin. In other words, we should live a holy life.
As people whose sins have been forgiven and are no more slaves of sin, we must ensure that we avoid willful sin. We must have clean hands and a pure heart. If we have sinned, we should repent, confess, and receive forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,
Wrath and doubting will hinder our prayers. James 1:19 says every man should be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Wrath is one of the sins we should not allow in our lives (2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:20; Ephesians 4:26, 31; Colossians 3:8). We must also avoid doubting whether in private prayer or public prayer. We should ask in faith, with no doubting, for whoever doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:6).
Jesus said, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says ” (Mark 11:23 New King James Version). Jesus also emphasized faith in Matthew 17:20; 21:21; and Luke 17:6. Avoid doubting.
The Revised Standard Version presents 1 Timothy 2:8 thus: “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.” Instead of wrath and doubting, or anger or quarreling, the New Century Version uses anger and arguments. How can you be praying to God with anger in your heart towards another person or others? How can you be approaching God in prayer while you are quarreling with another person? The person you’re angry or quarreling with might even be in the prayer meeting. Wrath, doubting, anger, or quarreling will not help you in getting answers to your prayers. Get rid of them.
The Weymouth’s New Testament talks about lifting, to God, holy hands which are unstained with anger or strife. Also, as we pray, the New Living Translation says we should be free from anger and controversy. Beware! Jesus said, “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22 New King James Version).
We may cry in prayer for hours but will God answer our prayers amid anger and strife? 2 Timothy 2:23 says we should avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. Prayer time is not time for arguments, anger, strife, or quarrel. “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts” (Proverbs 17:14 New King James Version).
Arguments, anger, strife, or quarrel will hinder your private prayer as much as they will hinder your prayers with others. Prayer time should be a time of approaching God with a pure heart, not a heart filled with wrath or anger, unforgiveness, or quarrel. Prayer time should be a time of being in agreement with others, not strife and acrimony. Paul, writing to the Philippians, says they should fulfill his joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and one mind (Philippians 2:2).
Whether you’re praying alone or with others, lift up holy hands, without wrath and doubting, anger or quarreling, or anger and arguments. Avoid unnecessary controversy. Have no ill-feeling towards anyone. Forgive those who wronged you (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15, 18:21- 35; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24 New King James Version). Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: As I pray, Father help me to lift up holy hands without anger or quarreling. Father, help Your church to be in agreement, especially in prayer. Let every division or acrimony in Your church cease so that we may get answers to our prayers. Holy Spirit, help us to forgive one another.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947