Paul proclaimed the exhortation in 1Timothy 2, “I exhort, therefore…” The urgent call to action went out. What action? He said, “…that, first of all…”, that which comes before all else, the importance of the action. Then he stated the action. “…supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”
“supplications…” “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore…O LORD of hosts…look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life…”(1Sam. 1:10-11.)The weight of Hannah’s desire crushed her heart. She took it to the Lord, the great I Am, seeking His goodness and joy to replace her afflictions and mourning. He didn’t disappoint her. “For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given my petition which I asked of him: .”(1Sam. 1:27). ”If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.“ (John 15:7).
“prayers…” “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”(Phil. 4:6).”Pray without ceasing.” Our prayers encompass every aspect of praying; supplications, all things, others, and thanksgiving. And are to be directed to God seeking His good or in adverting evil. Supplications can be made to people. Prayers are exclusively God directed.
“intercessions…” “…made for all men;” “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;”(John 17:20).”Seeing…we have a great high priest…Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession…tempted like as we are , yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”(Heb. 4:14-16). Through Jesus Christ, we have been given bold access to the throne of God for ourselves and for others, even as Jesus intercedes for us.
“giving of thanks…” “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”(1Thess.5:17). “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”(James 1:17). “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy endureth to all generations.”(Ps. 100:4,5). Thanksgiving is really the only gift we can give our Lord that He didn’t already give us.
Paul leaves us with his desire for us.“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”(1Tim. 2:8).
Now it is time to pray. For whom? Kings, those in authority, the lost, the saved, all men. Where? Everywhere. How? With holy hands…”Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”(James 4:8).And without wrath, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger…be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:31,32). And without doubting, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1John 5:14,15).With this promise we leave our prayer closets with thanksgiving in our hearts.
Desire God and know the desires of your heart will be fulfilled.
Praying our Loving Heavenly Father, gives us faith to trust when doubt desires to swallow us. May we commit our way to you and rest in your plans, when we are tempted to follow our own thoughts. May you be our greatest delight and desire. Amen.
If you would like to leave your prayer requests in comments, I am happy to take them to the throne of God even as you do.