In I Timothy 2:1-4, God speaks through Paul telling him, Timothy, and us, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Have we ever really thought thoroughly about these verses, and what they mean to us? Here God is admonishing us to carry out this instruction. These verses govern how prayers are to be led in public, but also in private.
We are informed that we are to pray for all men. God tells us, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).” A way in which we are good to all is through communicating unto God for others.
We are to offer supplications. The word “supplications” means imploring God’s aid in some particular matter. This involves “asking” and “seeking.” It is a special form of the more general word, “prayer.” Zacharias had offered supplications unto God for his wife to have a son as we see in Luke 1:13. This is an example of supplications. It involves requesting of God.
We are to offer “prayers.” This word is the more general word that we typically use to address all communications to God. This would definitely include requests for needs always present, such as our daily bread, Matthew 6:11. We should pray that we will not worry. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” We should also make specific requests of God that will help us to overcome our worry in specific situations.
We are to offer “intercessions.” This word means “an interview, a coming together, that for which an interview is held, a conference or conversation, a petition, supplication.” Intercessions involve drawing near to God to enter into free and familiar speech with him. It involves pleading in the interest of others. We do this when we pray for the forgiveness of each others’ faults when they are confessed, James 5:16. We are to offer “giving of thanks.” This involves expressing gratitude for blessings received. We are to abound, which means “overflow” in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:7). We should be thankful for all of God’s blessings, including the blessing of being made fit to members of the church and partakers of Heaven (Colossians 1:9-17).
Let us remember to pray particularly for kings and rulers. Let us pray that we may lead a calm and peaceful life with no hindrances in our quest to obey God to the best of our abilities. Let us all keep a focus on prayer!
-Jason Gann, TBC Online Instructor