1 Timothy 2:1-4, Romans 10:1, Ephesians 6:19
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
“Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.”
“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel”
What does God want most? Most of the time when we ask this question we have a hard time not putting the words “from me” at the end of it. We narrow the hopes and dreams of God to our own personal lives. Granted God does have plans for you and desires for the direction of your life and actions. But we cannot limit what God wants most in the this world to how we end up being as a Christian.
In 1 Timothy 2 and Romans 10, we get a clear glimpse of what God wants most of all. Romans states that God wants for the Israelites to be saved, but Timothy broadens this to say that He wants all people to be saved and to know the truth. This is constantly seen throughout scripture as the ultimate goal of God: for all people under heaven to know the truth and be saved.
Now I have heard it said that this will indeed happen in one of two ways. The first is that all people will be saved no matter what they have done or decided here on earth. The other is that no matter who goes to heaven or who goes to hell, everyone will know the truth about God when they get there. Now for the first one of those to be true we’d have to tear out multiple pages of the Bible, and that doesn’t seem to be a good option by any means. The second one might be true, but that only means that all people will know the truth, not that they will be saved.
Whatever the end result, the question is how do we pray and what do we ask in order to bring about God’s ultimate goal? The obvious answer might be to pray “God, help everyone to believe and follow you.” However, this is not what Paul prays. In Ephesians 6, Paul prays for himself that words may be given to him so that he can fearlessly make known the gospel. Instead of Paul praying for a saved world, he prays that he may be empowered to do his part in bringing it about. In our prayers, let’s pray that we might be a part of carrying out God’s ultimate plan for the world and those He wants to save.