Praying for men- especially in Brazil!

Jan 12, 2023 | PRAY

The other day I was thinking of making Paul’s longing in 1 Timothy 2:8 a specific prayer focus:

I desire that in every place men should pray lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling.

I love comparing the text of whatever version I am reading of a Scripture with other translations that Bible Gateway provide. In this instance, the following variants and renderings stood out to me for this verse:

–    I want, therefore, kol bnei Adam to daven in every shul, lifting up yadayim kodesh (holy hands) without ka’as (anger) and madon (strife). (OJB)

–    So here’s what you tell them; here’s what I want to see: Men, pray wherever you are. Reach your holy hands to heaven —without rage or conflict—completely open. (Voice)

–    . . . lifting up kind hands (YLT)

–    after putting aside their anger and any quarrels they have with anyone. (GW)

–    not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. (The Message)

It can only be a blessing to let the Lord lead you to pray for men, wherever He leads you to.

It struck me, however, that I would particularly like to twin this theme today with the extreme social, political and economic political contortions that Brazil is currently going through – and the ‘anger, resentment and quarrelling’ that are most certainly in the hearts of many men there at this time.

You will surely have heard that on January 8th, Brazil had its own equivalent of the January 6th invasion of the Capitol by election-denying supporters of the former President. Larger numbers were involved than in Washington, and more damage was done to the premises occupied in the capital Brasilia. As in America, the security forces were stunningly conspicuous by their absence. (It is well known that large numbers of the Armed Forces, and presumably the police too, are staunchly pro Bolsonario and his extreme right-wing philosophies, and opposed to the new President, with his concern for the poor).

This utterly unwelcome Trump-legacy at the start of Lula’s presidency is sure to involve a very great deal of disruption at every level to Brazilian society. Let’s pray for how it is handled in the courts and elsewhere.

When we add to that great show of machoism the considerable violence that surrounds the logging industry, as men strip the Amazon of its natural habitat at an alarming rate (and often violently) in favour of ranches, let’s pray for Brazil – and particularly the men in that country, many of whom profess faith in Christ, to be truly Christ-centred, rather than confusing ultra-nationalistic views with the kingdom of God, as we have seen so repeatedly in recent years in America.

Photo by Gabriel Rissi on Unsplash

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