18.09.2023 — Prayer to Overcome Dissension

24th Week in Ord. Time, Monday – 18th September 2023 – 1 Tim 2,1-8; Lk 7,1-10

Prayer to Overcome Dissension

In the first reading, Paul continues to advise his young colleague and companion, Timothy. Here Paul’s first order of business is prayer. He uses four main Greek words for prayer to emphasize his point. They are prayer of supplication, petition, intercession and thanksgiving. According to Paul, these prayers need to be made for people everywhere, but especially for those in authority and government. Although it looks like a very ordinary prayer, this marked insistence in a liturgical prayer for the community’s concern may imply that a refusal to pray for pagans existed at Ephesus. In actuality, such prayer aids the community to achieve a peaceful relationship with non-Christians (2,2) and contributes to their salvation. It helps to focus on the presence of Christ within the community who is the one and only Saviour of all (2,3-6). It reflects the vital apostolic mission to the Gentiles (2,7) which should be unmarred by internal dissension (2,8). Once again Paul reminds them that God Wills that all people be saved. In prayer, he urges them not to let resentment or bitterness prevent them from praying for those with whom they disagreed.