James Nisbet Commentary - 1 Timothy 2:8 - 2:8

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James Nisbet Commentary - 1 Timothy 2:8 - 2:8

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’


If there be one feeling more strongly fixed in man than another it is that of dependence. Pride may exist, but one still feels dependent. One objection heard against prayer is that God has fixed all things. So He has, but not absolutely; e.g. farmer must sow wheat or no harvest. The object of prayer is not to make God acquainted with our needs, but to deepen our feeling of dependence. In prayer we are obeying God’s command. He knows our need, but says, ‘For this I will be inquired of,’ etc.

I. The nature of prayer.

(a) It is directed to the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit.

(b) It is the expression of a need which is felt.

II. Characteristics of prayer (see text),

(a) Purity of motive.

(b) It must be the expression of the heart.

(c) It must be offered in a spirit of charity.

(d) There must be confidence. ‘He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.’

III. Universality of prayer.

(a) Always. In need, danger, world, family, home, abroad.

(b) In all places. In consecrated places and unconsecrated places. ‘Where two or three,’ etc.


‘A man of learning, but an unbeliever, was once travelling in Manilla on a scientific expedition. He was escorted by a native of rank. When about to start, the native requested the white stranger to pray to his God. He declined, because he was not a man of prayer. The native then said, “Well, some God must be prayed to, so you will excuse me if I pray to mine.” The unbeliever was thus rebuked by the heathen. Its effect was that the man who went in search of curiosities returned a child of God, and having found the pearl of great price. His next visit is to be as a missionary to preach Christ.’