1 Timothy 2:8 “Coming Before God In Prayer”


1 Tim.2:8 “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”


Have you wondered how you should pray to God? Can we pray sitting down? Should we stand when we pray? Should we kneel when we pray? Should men always lead in prayer? Can a woman lead in prayer?

We can find some answers to these questions from this verse. It is good to know the historical context and its practices. When Paul wrote his letter to Timothy, the practice amongst Jews was that when they prayed, the men would all stand in their synagogues, out of respect for God, and they would pray with their hands lifted up to God. This was the standard position that men would take when they pray. The main thing to remember is that when we seek God in prayer, we come before Him with holy hands. This does not mean that we need to wash our hands in a special manner, or with special holy water. What it means is that God is holy and when we go to Him, we too should not have anything that would stand in our way, any unconfessed sins and so on. That is why this verse refers to examples of anger and dispute. If we had been angry with someone, if we had been arguing with someone and we had not made peace with that person or apologized, our minds would still be angry and bothered by the argument and it would affect our prayer to God. If we have done something wrong, we must confess what we have done and ask God to forgive us before we go to Him with our prayers. Otherwise, we cannot expect our prayers to be heard by God.

When Paul said he wanted men everywhere to pray, he does not mean that only men should be allowed to pray. I have attended church services where its members take this verse literally and only allow men to lead in congregational prayer and to pray in public. But that was not what Paul meant when he wrote this verse. Paul was simply saying that wherever men prayed, they should a) lift up holy hands, and b) do not keep anger or quarreling in their hearts as they prayed. So, it is allowable that women pray since Paul’s point was not who prays but how they pray. As for whether one should stand or sit or kneel when praying, the important thing to remember is our attitude and heart when we seek God in prayer. We should be more concerned with seeking God humbly and earnestly in prayer rather than whether we are standing, sitting or kneeling. God desires us to have a humble and contrite heart.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for the privilege of allowing us to come into your Holy presence to submit our prayers in confidence knowing that we seek you humbly and earnestly, and having confessed our sins, you graciously accept our prayers. In the precious name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.



  1. What changes will you make to your prayer life after reading this devotion?
  2. How has this devotion helped you to have a higher view of God?
  3. How does this compare to people’s casual way to approaching God in prayer today? Discuss.