New American Standard Bible
Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.
King James Bible
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Darby Bible Translation
I will therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up pious hands, without wrath or reasoning.
World English Bible
I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without anger and doubting.
Young's Literal Translation
I wish, therefore, that men pray in every place, lifting up kind hands, apart from anger and reasoning;
1 Timothy 2:8 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
I will therefore - The Greek word here (βοὺλομαι boulomai) is different from the word rendered "will" - θέλω thelō - in 1 Timothy 2:4. The distinction is, that the word there used - θέλω thelō - denotes an active volition or purpose; the word here used - βοὺλομαι boulomai - a mere passive desire, propensity, willingness. Robinson's Lexicon The meaning here is, "it is my will" - expressing his wish in the case, or giving direction - though using a milder word than that which is commonly employed to denote an act of will.
That men pray everywhere - Not merely in the temple, or in other sacred places, but in all places. The Jews supposed that there was special efficacy in prayers offered at the temple in Jerusalem; the pagan also had the same view in regard to their temples - for both seemed to suppose that they came nearer to God by approaching his sacred abode. Christianity teaches that God may be worshipped in any place, and that we are at all times equally near him; see the John 4:20-24 notes; Acts 17:25 note. The direction here given that men should pray, in contradistinction from the duties of women, specified in the next verse, may be intended to imply that men should conduct the exercises of public worship. The duties of women pertain to a different sphere; compare 1 Timothy 2:11-12.
Lifting up holy hands - To lift up the hands denotes supplication, as it was a common attitude of prayer to spread abroad the hands toward heaven; compare Psalm 68:31; Exodus 9:29, Exodus 9:33; 1 Kings 8:22; 2 Chronicles 6:12-13; Isaiah 1:15; see also Horace Odes, iii. 23. 1; Ovid, M. 9:701; Livy, v. 21; Seneca, Ephesians 21. "Holy hands" here, mean hands that are not defiled by sin, and that have not been employed for any purpose of iniquity. The idea is, that when men approach God they should do it in a pure and holy manner.
Without wrath - That is, without the intermingling of any evil passion; with a calm, peaceful, benevolent mind. There should be nothing of the spirit of contention; there should be no anger toward others; the suppliant should be at peace with all people. It is impossible for a man to pray with comfort, or to suppose that his prayers will be heard, if he cherishes anger. The following exquisite and oft-quoted passage from Jeremy Taylor, is a more beautiful and striking illustration of the effect of anger in causing our prayers to return unanswered than was probably ever penned by anyone else. Nothing could be more true, beautiful, and graphic. "Anger sets the house on fire, and all the spirits are busy upon trouble, and intend propulsion, defense, displeasure, or revenge. It is a short madness, and an eternal enemy to discourse and a fair conversation; it intends its own object with all the earnestness of perception or activity of design, and a quicker motion of a too warm and distempered blood; it is a fever in the heart, and a calenture in the head, and a fire in the face, and a sword in the band, and a fury all over; and therefore can never suffer a man to be in a disposition to pray. For prayer is the peace of our spirit, the stillness of our thoughts, the evenness of recollection, the seat of meditation, the rest of our cares, and the calm of our tempest; prayer is the issue of a quiet mind, of untroubled thoughts; it is the daughter of charity and the sister of meekness; and he that prays to God with an angry, that is, with a troubled and discomposed spirit, is like him that retires into a battle to meditate, and sets up his closet in the out-quarters of an army, and chooses a frontier garrison to be wise in.
Anger is a perfect alienation of the mind from prayer, and therefore is contrary to that attention which presents our prayers in a right line to God. For so have I seen a lark rising from his bed of grass, and soaring upward, and singing as he rises, and hopes to get to heaven, and rise above the clouds; but the poor bird was beaten back with the loud sighings of an eastern wind, and his motion made irregular and inconsistent, descending more at every breath of the tempest than it could recover by the libration and frequent weighing of his wings, until the little creature was forced to sit down and pant, and stay till the storm was over; and then it made a prosperous flight, and did rise and sing, as if it had learned music and motion from an angel." "The Return of Prayers," Works, vol. i. 638. Ed. Lond. 1835.
And doubting - This word, as used here, does not mean, as our translation would seem to imply, that we are to come before God without any doubts of our own piety, or in the exercise of perfect faith. The word used (διαλογισμός dialogismos) means, properly, computation, adjustment of accounts; then reflection, thought; then reasoning, opinion; then debate, contention, strife; Luke 9:46; Mark 9:33-34; Philippians 2:14. This is the sense evidently in this place. They were not to approach God in prayer in the midst of clamorous disputings and angry contentions. They were not to come when the mind was heated with debate, and irritated by strife for victory. Prayer was to be offered in a calm, serious, sober state of mind, and they who engaged in polemical strife, or in warm contention of any kind, are little fitted to unite in the solemn act of addressing God. How often are theologians, when assembled together, so heated by debate, and so anxious for party victory, that they are in no suitable state of mind to pray! How often do even good people, holding different views on the disputed points of religious doctrine, suffer their minds to become so excited, and their temper so ruffled, that they are conscious they are in an unfit state of mind to approach the throne of grace together! That theological debate has gone too far; that strife for victory has become too warm, when the disputants are in such a state of mind that they cannot unite in prayer; when they could not cease their contentions, and with a calm and proper spirit, bow together before the throne of grace.
LibrarySeventeenth Day for Kings and Rulers
WHAT TO PRAY.--For Kings and Rulers "I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgiving, be made for all men; for kings, and all that are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity."--1 TIM. ii. 1, 2. What a faith in the power of prayer! A few feeble and despised Christians are to influence the mighty Roman emperors, and help in securing peace and quietness. Let us believe that prayer is a power that is taken up …
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession
We Shall not be Curious in the Ranking of the Duties in which Christian Love...
The Fifth Commandment
The Great Slaughters and Sacrilege that were in Jerusalem.
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully.
Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help, When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.
So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
Lift up your hands to the sanctuary And bless the LORD.
May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
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