2 Timothy 4:2 – “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction.”
According to GotQuestions.org, Second Timothy is likely the final letter that the apostle Paul wrote. It is written to Timothy, who was his “son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2) and personal envoy or messenger. Paul would send Timothy to churches to help take care of problems when Paul was unable to go there himself.
The one thing of supreme importance that Paul wants to impress upon Timothy is his duty to “preach the word” and to “be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction”.
This preaching of the Word is necessary because “the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (verses 3–4). People normally tend to be comfortable with falsehood, and Timothy must combat this tendency by being ready at all times to preach the truth, that is, to preach the Word of God.
The word translated “preach” is the Greek word keyroxon, which simply means “publish or proclaim openly.” When Paul tells Timothy to preach the Word, the idea of a formal setting behind a pulpit or in a church service is not present. Nor does it connote a certain style of speech—“preaching” vs. “teaching” vs. “normal conversation.” In the context of 2 Timothy, any presentation of the truth of God’s Word is “preaching.” Therefore, any Christian can and should do this.
Preaching or proclaiming the Word can happen in an informal conversation over coffee or in a formal counseling session. Parents can proclaim the Word to their children around the dinner table, in the backyard, or on a vacation to the beach. The Word can be proclaimed on TV, radio, and the internet. The Word can be proclaimed by books, magazine articles, and email. The Word can be proclaimed through Facebook posts and Tweets. The Word can be proclaimed through music and the visual arts. The Word can be proclaimed by a get-well card to a sick friend. The Word can be proclaimed by a public billboard or in a private telephone conversation. The Word can be proclaimed by men, women, and children of every age and station in life. And, yes, the Word can and should be proclaimed when the church gathers together for corporate worship.
All of us are responsible to preach, that is, to communicate God’s Word to others in whatever situation we find ourselves in with whatever tools of communication we can muster.
To “preach the Word” in 2 Timothy 4:2 simply means to communicate the truth of God’s Word. The verse goes on to tell us that we should be ready to do this when it is convenient and when it is not (“in season and out of season” or, as the NLT has it, “whether the time is favorable or not”).
Please stand as we pray for all Christian churches to boldly proclaim God’s Word without apology, bringing glory to His name and advancing His kingdom on earth.
- Boldness in Proclamation: Pray for unwavering boldness among church leaders and members to preach the Word of God without compromise or apology, regardless of cultural opposition or societal pressures.
- Clarity and Conviction: Ask God to grant clarity and conviction to pastors, preachers, and evangelists as they proclaim the Gospel, ensuring that the message is communicated with truth and sincerity.
- Anointing of the Holy Spirit: Seek the anointing and empowerment of the Holy Spirit upon all who minister the Word, enabling them to speak with authority and effectiveness, touching hearts and transforming lives.
- Protection from Persecution: Pray for divine protection over the Christian church, especially in regions where preaching the Gospel may lead to persecution or opposition. Ask God to shield His servants and grant them courage in the face of adversity.
- Unity and Support: Intercede for unity and support within the body of Christ, that believers may stand together in solidarity, encouraging and uplifting one another as they proclaim the Gospel message.
- Wisdom in Contextualization: Ask for wisdom for church leaders to effectively contextualize the Gospel message for diverse audiences while remaining faithful to the core truths of Scripture.
- Faithfulness to Scripture: Pray that the Christian church remains firmly rooted in the teachings of Scripture, holding fast to the unchanging Word of God as the ultimate authority for faith and practice.
- Courage to Confront Sin: Petition God for courage and discernment to address sin and moral decay boldly, both within the church and in society, calling individuals to repentance and transformation through the power of Christ.
- Fruitfulness and Impact: Pray for the fruitfulness of the church’s ministry efforts, that many would come to faith in Jesus Christ and experience the life-changing power of His salvation.
- Revival and Spiritual Awakening: Cry out to God for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit upon the Christian church, igniting revival and spiritual awakening that spreads throughout communities, nations, and the world, drawing multitudes to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
PRAYER: Almighty and Ever-loving Father, we come before You with hearts full of gratitude for the gift of the Christian church—a beacon of hope, a refuge for the weary, and a place where Your love is proclaimed and demonstrated. Tonight, we lift up Christian churches around the world, knowing that Your presence dwells within them, guiding, strengthening, and empowering Your people to fulfill Your purposes.
Lord, we pray for unity within the body of Christ. May Your church be bound together by love, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to the truth of Your Word. Help us to set aside differences and work together in harmony, shining brightly as a witness to Your grace and mercy.
We lift up pastors and church leaders, asking for Your wisdom, discernment, and anointing as they shepherd Your flock. Grant them courage to boldly proclaim Your Word, wisdom to navigate the complexities of ministry, and compassion to care for the needs of Your people.
Lord, we pray for congregations facing persecution and opposition. Strengthen their faith, grant them courage in the face of adversity, and remind them that You are with them always. May their steadfast witness inspire others to stand firm in their faith and trust in Your unfailing promises.
We ask for revival and spiritual awakening within Your church. Pour out Your Spirit afresh, igniting hearts with passion for Your kingdom and stirring a hunger for Your presence. May Your church be a catalyst for transformation in communities, nations, and the world at large.
Lord, we lift up Christian churches in areas of need—those grappling with poverty, injustice, or lack of resources. Provide for their needs abundantly, and raise up faithful servants to minister to the brokenhearted, bring healing to the wounded, and proclaim liberty to the captives.
Finally, Lord, we pray for Your kingdom to come and Your will to be done in and through Your church. May Your name be glorified, Your truth proclaimed, and Your love demonstrated to all people. Empower Your church to be a light in the darkness, pointing others to the hope found in Jesus Christ alone.
In Your most holy name, we pray. Amen.