Saturday, January 24, 2009

PRAYING FOR ALL PEOPLE

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.
Ask God to help them;
intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority
so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives
marked by godliness and dignity.
This is good and pleases God our Savior.”
1 Timothy 2:1-3 NLT
~~~~~~~~~

We often focus mainly on our own personal needs when we pray. Our scripture today urges us to put the emphasis on others. In fact, it tells us to “pray for all people.” That includes people of different color – nationality – ethnic groups - financial status – level of education – political persuasion – denominational background. It includes praying for mature believers – new converts – seekers – the immoral – the addict, etc., etc. God’s Word urges us to widen the circle of people we are praying for to include everyone that touches our life in one way or another.

In the “all people,” Paul specifically calls attention to praying for heads of government and all in authority. Praying for them specifically is important because their decisions can effect whether we will have the freedom to “live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” Asking God to help those in authority is especially pertinent this week, as a new president and administration have come into power.

Our prayers should be more than just asking God to help people. We are also to make intercession for them. Intercessory prayer goes beyond just asking, it goes to the point where we are pleading with God on behalf of others. That’s serious praying! I don’t know about you, but I am afraid there aren’t too many people beyond my family and close friends for whom I truly intercede. I guess I need you to “ask God to help me.”

Numerous scriptures tell us that with the requests we bring to God, we should also bring thanks. And Paul urges us to do the same in this week’s passage - “Pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them…This is good and pleases God our Savior.”

Let’s Pray –
Father, we thank you for the people who touch our lives. Help us to faithfully call on You to help them with the needs they face. Help us also to care enough for them to truly plead on their behalf. We ask this in our Savior’s name.
Amen

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2 comments:

Jared said...

Iver, thanks for a wonderful reminder of our responsibility to pray for everyone. It's such a simple thing and yet so easy to overlook. Thanks!

Mark Bowman said...

Hi Iver and Donna,
Thanks for peeling back a layer on the onion of prayer. You are so right, there are not many people I truly intercede for. Let's intercede for each other so that our prayer lives may be pleasing to the Lord. Mark Bowman