Thursday, December 8, 2011

Prayers, Petitions and Thanksgivings





Scripture

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
(1 Timothy 2:1 NASB)
for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
(1 Timothy 2:2 NASB)

Observation

"I don't know how to pray!" How often do we hear this today?  In the past it seems that the art of prayer was passed from one generation to the next and yet, suddenly we live in a day and age when many people tell me that they simply don't know how to pray. In this letter to Timothy we get a glimpse of the expectation of a follower of Christ. All were encouraged to spend time in prayer, and while they were praying they were to bring their petitions before God. However, not only petitions were to be brought to God, but also thanksgiving for what God had already accomplished. We are not to be choosy about those for whom we will pray. We are to pray for all people that we may know personally but also for those who are in authority over us. Yes, we are even to pray for those who may not be confessed followers of God. Why? Because ultimately as we pray for others God brings a peace and tranquility into our lives.

Application

We must find a way to carve out time for prayer in our daily lives. In that prayer time it may be helpful to make a list of those for whom we need to pray. Maybe it's something we do on a rotating basis, praying for different people, or groups of people on different days of the week, but we need to have some type of a plan. Praying for others includes praying for those that we may not even like. We are admonished to pray for everyone! This includes those who are our leaders.  It doesn't matter whether they are followers of Christ or not, we must pray for them.  It is only through this time in God's presence, through prayer for those with whom we have affinity and with whom we do not, that we find a very deep and amazing peace.  This peace is what gives us a life of tranquility and dignity.  Now, that sounds appealing, doesn't it?  Therefore we must again practice the "art" of prayer, filling our time with God with petitions and thanksgivings. 

Prayer

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