praying in public


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praying in public

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (JDV)

1 Timothy 2:8 That is why I want the husbands1 in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.

1 Timothy 2:9 wives2 should pray in the very same way, dressing themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good judgment, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel,

1 Timothy 2:10 but with good achievements,3 as is proper for wives who profess to worship God.

praying in public

Paul’s instruction here was not so much about gender roles, but about setting a good example in public as Christians. He had just told Timothy that he should be regularly praying for political leaders, and now he is saying that the public worship of Christian couples should set a good example for everyone — including those leaders.

When magistrates and governors see Christian husbands praying without anger or argument, they are more likely to give them justice. When they see Christian wives praying with modest and sensible clothing, they will respect them.

Paul was not arguing against gender equality here. He was instructing both husbands and wives to display their faith in Christ in the public without shaming the name of Christ by drawing attention to themselves. Both husbands and wives are equally responsible to live up to their profession in public.


1 ἀνήρ = husband (when compared to wife). 1 Timothy 2:8, 12; 3:2, 12; 5:9.

2 γυνή = wife (when compared to husband). 1 Timothy 2:9-12, 14; 3:2, 11-12; 5:9.

3ἔργον = achievement. 1 Timothy 2:10; 3:1; 5:10, 25; 6:18.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at -- !
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