Petitions, Prayers, Intercessions and Thanksgiving
Date: March 16, 2023
I use the BLESS method every morning for my devotional.
B - Bible Verse
L - Listen for God's Word and pray
E - Explore the History and meaning
S - Study and savor
S - Summarize and Share
You can read more about it by going to: What is a Faith Journal?
Bible Scripture Verse – 1 Timothy 2:1
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people."
Listen for God’s Voice
Gracious Heavenly Father, I pray that you would help me to be faithful in praying for all people, as Paul urges in this passage. May my prayers be sincere and heartfelt, not just going through the motions. Help me to remember to pray for not just my friends and family, but for those who are in positions of authority, as well as those who are marginalized or overlooked in our society.
I pray for your protection and provision for all people, regardless of race, gender, or social status. May your love and grace be poured out upon them in abundance. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Explore History – Who wrote it, when and to what audience? Key people in the story?
First Timothy is one of three letters that are attributed to Paul and addressed to individuals, rather than churches. It is believed that Paul wrote 1 Timothy while he was in Macedonia, around AD 62 or 63, during his third missionary journey.
The letter is addressed to Timothy, who was a young church leader that Paul had mentored and trained. The purpose of the letter was to provide instruction and guidance to Timothy, who was overseeing the church in Ephesus.
1 Timothy 2:1 specifically urges Timothy and the church in Ephesus to pray for all people, including those in positions of authority. This would have been particularly relevant in the context of the Roman Empire, which was ruled by a succession of emperors and other officials.
Overall, 1 Timothy 2:1 and the rest of the letter were written to encourage and instruct Timothy and the church in Ephesus to remain faithful to the gospel and to continue spreading the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Study and Savor – Key Words
"Petitions": This refers to requests or appeals made to God in prayer. In this verse, Paul is urging Timothy to make petitions on behalf of all people.
"Prayers": This is a general term for communication with God, often involving worship, confession, and supplication.
"Intercession": This refers to prayer on behalf of others, especially those who may be in need or facing difficult circumstances.
"Thanksgiving": This refers to expressing gratitude to God for his blessings and provision.
"All people": This phrase is inclusive, indicating that Paul is urging Timothy to pray for everyone, regardless of their background or status.
Summarize and Share
In 1 Timothy 2:1, Paul tells us to pray for everyone, not just our friends and family. This includes people in power and those who are struggling.
When we pray for those in power, we are asking God to help them make good choices. When we pray for those who are struggling, we are showing love and care.
It’s not always easy to pray for those in power, especially when we don’t agree with their decisions. But when we pray for our leaders, we not only ask God to help them make wise decisions, but we show that we respect them and are humble. We recognize that they have an important role and that we are not better than they are. By intentionally praying for our leaders, we can combat the negative attitudes and cynicism that can so easily take root in our hearts. It allows us to see them as fellow human beings who are also in need of God's grace and guidance. This can lead to a greater sense of compassion and understanding for those with whom we may disagree, and help foster a more peaceful and respectful society.
When we pray for other people besides our loved ones, we broaden our perspective and deepen our compassion. We start to see the world from a wider lens, recognizing the struggles and challenges that others are facing. As we lift up our prayers for those we may not know personally, we are acknowledging our interconnectedness and shared humanity.
Prayer is not just a personal practice but also a way to help other people. When we intercede on behalf of others, we are acting as channels of God's grace and mercy. We may not be able to solve all of the problems in the world, but through prayer, we can contribute to positive change and offer support and hope to those in need.
Prayer is a vital aspect of our relationship with God and a powerful tool for living out our faith in the world. When we pray for others, we not only deepen our connection with God, we grow in compassion and empathy, and contribute to the flourishing of all people. I challenge you today to pray for those you may have never prayed for before.
Bible Cross Reference
Romans 13:1 - "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." This verse highlights the importance of respecting and submitting to those in authority, as they have been established by God.
James 5:16 - "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." This verse emphasizes the power of prayer and the importance of praying for others.
Matthew 5:44 - "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." This verse encourages us to pray not only for those we know well, but also for those who may be our enemies or who have hurt us in some way.
Philippians 4:6 - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." This verse highlights the importance of bringing all of our worries and concerns to God through prayer.