"I want men to offer prayers everywhere. They should raise their hands in prayer after putting aside their anger and any quarrels they have with anyone."
1 Timothy 2:8, GWV.
Most followers of Jesus want their prayers to be effective to invite the presence of God in their lives and the lives of others. Paul instructs Timothy in this chapter about the importance of praying for the Lord's hand to be evident in our government, our churches, and in the lives of others.
In this verse, Paul points out that there is some things that hinder our prayers from being effective. The main point is that when we are out of relationship with any person in our lives, we are kept from an effective prayer life. While Paul doesn't elaborate why this is true in this letter, it is clear in other places in the New Testament.
Peter tells us (1 Peter 3) that our prayers are hindered when we are out of relationships with our wives. James tells us we are hindered by our prayer when we do not confess our faults to one another, a relational issue (James 5). Finally, John tells us we are hindered when we do not love others as Jesus loves us (1 John 4).
The effectiveness of our prayer life is intimately connected to our relationships with others. Let's make sure that we are free to love, pray, and minister grace to those around us. In this way, our prayers will rise as an offering to the Lord and bring about pleasure for the One we love to serve, worship, and follow.