“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
The context of this verse says, if I understand Paul’s complex sentence structures correctly is:
- Pray for all people, including all government and authority figures
- Pray that those in authority would allow God’s people to live peaceful, dignified lives (i.e. free of persecution)
- It is also good to pray for those who don’t know Christ that they might be saved because God desires all know Him and the Truth
- It is also good to pray this because the Lord is the only God and Jesus Christ gave himself to ransom all humanity and is the only mediator able to reconcile God to man (I.E. able to restore us to Paradise)
- But actually give this testimony only at the proper time.
Paul doesn’t actually tell us out right when exactly the proper time is, at least in this chapter as far as I can tell. Reason would suggest the proper time is when our prayers have softened their hearts’s soil enough to receive the seed of faith we plant. Another scripture, “have an answer ready for the hope that is within you” suggests we’ll know for sure their hearts are ready when they ask us. Short of that, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, we pray for our governing authorities today and for all persons in positions to discriminate against Christians and make it difficult for us, in our nations as well as in lands where our brothers and sisters are dying rather than deny you. Change their hearts, oh Lord, so we might live in peace with the same dignity that they profess they want to ensure everyone enjoys. Soften their hearts and the hearts of all those who do not know you, that they might be convicted of the truth, and ready to hear and receive our continued testimony that Christ died for all and only he can save us from our sin and make us pure enough to return to the Paradise we long for, which is found in your kingdom. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, amen.