MORE NOTES ON BEING A CHURCH DEVOTED TO PRAYER
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Posted on Mon, Aug 19, 2019
II. Paul Teaches Timothy about Prayer (1 Tim. 2:1-8)
"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension."
-1 Timothy 2:1-8 (NASB)
In v. 2:1 Paul mentions four types of prayer, and uses four different Greek words to differentiate between them.
- Entreaty (Gr. deêsis)- an earnest request or supplication. As a form of prayer, this is when the believer approaches God as a supplicant, humbly asking him for his or her needs. The Psalms contain many prayers of supplication by David (Ps. 4:1; 5:8; 6:4; 7:1, etc.), and Jesus tells us to ask for our daily bread (Matt. 6:11), and not to tire of asking God for the things we have committed to him in prayer (Luke 18:1-8).
- Prayer (Gr. proseuchê)- a spiritual communion with God. At its most basic, prayer is interaction with God. This can include meditation, confession, praise and worship, and as the word "interaction" suggests, it also means opening ourselves to hearing God speak to us in a variety of ways.
- Petition (Gr. enteuxis)- a request made for something desired, especially a respectful or humble request. This term derives from a Greek word that can be translated as appeals, pleads, or intercedes. Intercession is not just the right of the Christian, it is his or her responsibility. One of the great intercessors of the Bible was Moses, and an example of one of his many intercessions on behalf of Israel can be found in Ex. 33:15-17. In the same way that the Lord told Moses that his prayer would be fulfilled because he, Moses, had found favor with God (v. 17), so we as Christians have found favor with God through the saving work of Jesus Christ, giving us the right to approach the Almighty and make appeals for others (Rom. 8:14).
- Thanksgiving (Gr. eucharistia)- the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors. Do we spend so much time asking God to answer our prayers that we forget to give him thanks for the prayers he has already answered? Thanksgiving to the Lord is fully as important as any of the other prayers Paul mentions (Ps. 107:1; 1 Thes. 5:18; Col. 4:2).
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