A note from our Pastor:
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”1 Timothy 2:1
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
Our study verse this week takes us into the second chapter of 1 Timothy. There are two principal parts of public worship—the preaching of the word of God and prayer. In the first chapter of this epistle the Apostle set forth guidance for the preaching of the gospel and the importance of truth. As the second chapter opens the Apostle continues his instruction, but shifts his focus to the subject of prayer.
The Apostle in this chapter is going to provide multiple pieces of advice regarding how prayer should be undertaken by the individual disciple and also by the community of believers in a public setting. While prayer is certainly personal and takes unique form and shape based on each individual there are aspects of prayer which all disciples should be instructed to include. Here the Apostle provides four categories of “prayer” which all disciples should practice. Defining these four categories is an imprecise exercise but even a rough consideration is profitable.
Supplications— This is the first category in the list given by the Apostle. Supplications are what we might call requests of God. These are potentially physical needs such as food, clothing, or shelter. They might also be spiritual needs like forgiveness, reconciliation, or wisdom. Many times supplications might be emotional needs such as calming of anxiety, lifting of depression, or finding joy in difficult times. Supplications in most instances involve the individual praying, but might also involve others.
Prayers— This more generic term is good wishes and desires. Items included in this category might include prayers for country and leaders, prayers for communities and schools, or prayers for communities of believers in other locations. You might think of these as more generic items, such as, praying for wisdom for leaders not on a specific topic but in their general approach to governance. These types of prayers are no less significant despite being more generic.
Intercessions— The third category is similar to the first except regarding the subject of the prayers. While the first category is request for ones own needs or those in immediate proximity this category is requests for others. When making intercession with Christ it might be someone you love dearly and are pleading for their health, well-being, or peace. But it also might be intercession for one who has been your enemy. This category is extremely important to fulfilling the instruction to pray for all men.
Giving of Thanks— This final category is the only one which will never, in all eternity, expire. In all our prayers, regardless of the situation, we should include thanks to the Father for the blessings we have. This category, when faithfully held to, is an expression of gratitude which by faith allows one to hold on to hope. When this life is over, the disciple will no longer need hope because the hope will have been realized, but the praise of God for his blessings will not cease.
Finally, the Apostle says we are to pray for all men. This has no limitation. When we engage in all four categories listed above, we are able to pray for all of those around us.
Our Prayers are with you daily,
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