I Timothy 2:1-2 says, “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.” It is my hope that through the reading of this article, that you will be benefited in your understanding of these two verses.
God wants us to pray. When we analyze these two verses, let us take note of this fact. God wants us to communicate to Him. When Paul says, “I exhort therefore. . .” He is really saying that God, speaking through him, makes this exhortation. Jesus had previously appeared to Paul, then called “Saul,” on the road to Damascus. He was told to go into the city, and it would be told him what to do after Jesus had rebuked him for his persecution of Christians and after he had asked, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Men had to lead him for the light that he saw was so bright that he was without sight for three days. The Lord told Ananias in a vision to go into the street called Straight and to inquire for Saul in the house of Judas, for there he prays, and he has seen a vision of Ananias healing him of his blindness. Ananias was concerned about him though, because he had heard how that Saul had made havock of the church. Jesus assures him, “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” He does heal him. Scales fall from his eyes. Saul is told to be baptized, and he obeys. He is filled with the Holy Spirit and becomes an Apostle out of due season, now meeting the requirement to be a witness of Jesus’ Resurrection (Acts 1). It is clear then that when Paul says, “I exhort therefore. . .,” then he is speaking by the inspiration of God (II Timothy 3:16-17). God does want us to pray.
There are different facets of prayer. God through Paul exhorts that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made. Supplications refer to requests for particular benefits. Prayers refer to direct and specific blessings for which we ask God. Intercessions refer to drawing near to God, and involve making urgent requests of God for others. Giving of thanks refers to showing our appreciation unto God for what He has done for us (I Thessalonians 5:18).
I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” We should be of a prayerful attitude. We will look more into these two verses in a future article.
-Jason Gann, TBC Registrar