2 Timothy 4:16-18
At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.…
This is the true inmost essence of prayer — not that we should prescribe to Him how to answer our desires, but that we should leave all that in His hands. The apostle Paul said, in his last letter, with triumphant confidence, that he knew that God would "deliver him and save him into His everlasting kingdom." And he knew, at the same time, that his course was ended, and that there was nothing for him now but the crown. How was he "saved into the kingdom" and "delivered from the mouth of the lion"? The sword that struck off the wearied head that had thought so long for God's Church was the instrument of the deliverance and the means of the salvation. For us it may be that a sharper sorrow may be the answer to the prayer, "Preserve Thy servant." It may be that God's "bowing down His ear" and answering us when we cry shall be to pass us through a mill that has finer rollers, to crush still more the bruised corn. But the end and the meaning of it all will be to "rejoice the soul of the servant" with a deeper joy at last.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.