First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people.

1 Timothy 2: 1

Do you pray? Do you go before God to speak to and with Him and to listen and hear what the Lord has to say? Sometimes this is ordered in one direction as in, I speak forth what is on my mind and pressing upon my heart and then wait for God to respond. At other times I simply wait in silence and attempt to clear my mind of everything in anticipation of the far greater thoughts that God might have for me. There are also times when words pour forth from my mouth as if they are being forced like a geyser’s spout out of my overly full spirit, heart, and mind. The point is that prayer takes on many forms, has various shapes, and can occur on any day, at every hour, and in any circumstances that I might find myself. Some prayer has a formal and even a ritualistic quality to it, but most of it is among the most casual and in-the-moment speech that comes out of my mouth. Prayer can be constant, unceasing, and as present in the life of a follower of Christ as is the air that we breath.

With all of that said, God desires to hear from us. He actually cares about what is on our hearts and the issues that are filling our minds. The Lord also wants us to trust Him with the feelings that are rife within us and with the thoughts that are circling about inside of us. God’s intense interest in what is going on inside of His people is interesting to me in that I understand that He already knows all about everything and everyone. Yet, the Lord cares about relationship with us so greatly that He delights in these times when we enter into the intimacy of prayer with Him. Prayer is a way that we can grow closer to God, wherein we can hear that deep and personal voice of our Creator as He speaks the truth of life into us. There is no more personal a thing that any of us can do with God than to pray, and there is perhaps nothing that we can do as a gathered body of faith that is more impactful upon our unity than praying together.

As Paul instructs us, offering up prayer for all people and in every situation leads us deeper and more fully into God’s heart and mind. There are many people in my world that are easy to pray for. I care about them and they care about me, and I have much in common with them and share important aspects of life and of living with them. There are other people who are close to or important to people that I know and care about; so, it is also easy to seek out the Lord’s involvement in their situations. Then, there are those people who have positions and authority such that the things that they do and the manner in which it is accomplished has an impact upon my life; thus, I tend to pray for their wisdom and protection in carrying out their responsibilities. But after that, there are people who I do not like, that I might fear, or that possibly are antagonistic in some way to and with me. These people are not so easy to pray for, but they are certainly included in the “all people” that Paul is urging us to pray for. As we pray we are taken into God’s heart and mind in ways that are wonderful, powerful, and profound. In prayer we often see solutions to relational challenges that had eluded us in other aspects of engaging with people. Through prayer, we are provided with the grace and the forgiveness that are necessary if we are to truly love others regardless of what they may be doing or saying, and it is this form of Godly love that seeks for the salvation of people that we despise and that desires for them to become a part of the same body in Christ that we dwell within.   

I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.

1 Timothy 2: 1

 

Paul sets forth an interesting thought here, for he tells us that we should be engaging in prayerful worship with God that involves a very broad list of people, for “all” is about as inclusive as that group could get. When I am considering a time of prayer, my tendency is to talk with God about my family members, my friends, the people that I might be aware of in other settings that are usually related to these same people, and sometimes national and international leaders. This is a fairly large yet manageable list. Yet, this is only the start of what Paul is saying about prayer and us.

 

This list of prayer forms is also really comprehensive. It is a lot bigger than just the simple, “Thank you for my family” or “Please heal my cousin’s dermatitis”. These are both fine, for they are included in the list; however, take a close look at what is being said. We are being told to engage prayer in a total and comprehensive manner. It is to be done on our knees and standing and shouting praises, framed in humility, seeking God’s intervention and involvement in other people’s lives, grateful and remindful of all that God does for us and for all people. Prayer is passionate, constant, a special event, and an every moment necessity. It is to be engaged in the morning, in the middle of the day, at night, and at every time between, and we are to pray about and for everyone.

 

This last thought is perhaps the most amazing and profound thought to me. I think that the point here is that if I embrace this idea and make it my practice, God will begin to cause a very powerful change in my attitudes toward others. He will redirect my thinking and the attitude of my heart toward many others so that I will begin to see them more like He does. The group that I am instructed to pray for includes people that I don’t like, those that don’t seem to like me, leaders of government, especially leaders who I believe are wrong or who are wrongly motivated, the person at work whose habits infuriate me, the neighbor whose dog is noisy, the person who has profoundly wronged or hurt me, and everyone who I struggle to understand or to relate to.

 

Christ sees the world and the people in it quite differently from the way that I do. He sees the beautiful potential, the perfect child that He created, and the deep sadness and the chaos that is the result of people’s separation from Him. Our Lord sees all people with eyes of love and compassion, and He seeks to be granted the opportunity to graciously redeem everyone from their lost state. Thus, He directs us to put on His attitude, to see the people of this world as He does, and to become active agents for His redemption. Christ directs His people to engage and to energize His calling to us in constant and comprehensive prayer.

 

I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.

1 Timothy 2: 1

 

Paul sets forth an interesting thought here, for he tells us that we should be engaging in prayerful worship with God that involves a very broad list of people, for “all” is about as inclusive as that group could get. When I am considering a time of prayer, my tendency is to talk with God about my family members, my friends, the people that I might be aware of in other settings that are usually related to these same people, and sometimes national and international leaders. This is a fairly large yet manageable list. Yet, this is only the start of what Paul is saying that we should be doing.

 

This list of prayer forms is also really comprehensive. It is a lot bigger than just the simple, “Thank you for my family” or “Please heal my cousin’s dermatitis”. These are both fine, for they are included in the list; however, take a close look at what is being said. We are being told to engage prayer in a total and comprehensive manner. It is to be done on our knees and standing and shouting praises, framed in humility, seeking God’s intervention and involvement in other people’s lives, grateful and remindful of all that God does for us and for all people. Prayer is passionate, constant, a special event, and an every moment necessity. It is to be engaged in the morning, in the middle of the day, at night, and at every time between, and we are to pray about and for everyone.

 

This last thought is perhaps the most amazing and profound thought to me. I think that the point here is that if I embrace this idea and make it my practice, God will begin to cause a very powerful change in my attitudes toward others. He will redirect my thinking and the attitude of my heart toward many others so that I will begin to see them more like He does. The group that I am instructed to pray for includes people that I don’t like, those that don’t seem to like me, leaders of government, especially leaders who I believe are wrong or who are wrongly motivated, the person at work whose habits infuriate me, the neighbor whose dog is noisy, the person who has profoundly wronged or hurt me, and everyone who I struggle to understand or to relate to.

 

Christ sees the world and the people in it quite differently from the way that I do. He sees the beautiful potential, the perfect child that He created, and the deep sadness and the chaos that is the result of people’s separation from Him. Our Lord sees all people with eyes of love and compassion, and He seeks to be granted the opportunity to graciously redeem everyone from their lost state. Thus, He directs us to put on His attitude, to see the people of this world as He does, and to become active agents for redemption. Christ directs His people to engage and to energize His calling to us in constant and comprehensive prayer.