Praying for All People

Dear readers,

This post is well overdue. I do apologize for keeping you all waiting. My posting habits will likely be different over the next two and a half months.

I’m writing this from Japan. I took advantage of some free time out of a mostly busy volunteer schedule. Depending on the level of enthusiasm in the comments, I may or may not share more about where I am and what I’m doing. So let me know if that’s something you’re interested in.

Thinking about prayer…

There are a handful of blogs that I read regularly because they edify my Christian walk. Until yesterday, I was more than a week behind. Then I read Hosanna’s post about prayer and was greatly encouraged by it. If you haven’t already read it, I encourage you to hop on over there and do so now.

0089-praying-for-all-people

As I finished reading, God brought to mind a passage from His Word. I have since been digging into it:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-4

There’s at least one list that appears as early as the first verse of the passage:

  • petitions
  • prayers
  • intercession
  • thanksgiving

I see this as a list of ways that Paul urges us to communicate with God regarding “all people”, including kings and other authority figures…

Or perhaps Paul’s intention in using a list wasn’t to make distinctions between different kinds of prayer but to emphasize how important this prayer is. What do you think?

On another note, I’m thinking that I will lean more heavily on the Word of God over the next few months and lean less heavily on my own observations, interpretations, and comments. Please bear with me as I try to figure out how blogging fits into this new season of my life.

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6 thoughts on “Praying for All People

  1. I understand it’s hard to fit blogging around volunteer work. I definitely be interested in hearing more about your time away!

    I enjoyed Hosanna’s post too- and this one as well. It’s great to be encouraged to pray more, and be reminded how important prayer is. Thank you, and I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you over in Japan! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jessica! Thanks for your uplifting comment, and for bearing with me patiently until I responded! And thank you for your prayers, too. It’s so encouraging to be reminded that I share such a bond through Jesus’ work – even with people I’ve never met – that they would spend time talking with God on my behalf. I hope that I can be just as faithful a sister in Christ to you as you have been to me.

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  2. Great post, Jordy! Oh, and I just read your comment on Hosanna’s blog which said what you are doing in Japan (WOW, that was quite the sentence) and Jordy? THAT IS EPICNESS. *thumbs-up* I wish I was over there with yooouuu! XD I’ve been praying for you!
    BUT back to the post….I would have to say what Paul wrote is more like a list, although I think he is also emphasizing the importance of prayer. The importance of prayer is something I need to remember a lot more often. =)
    You’re doing such a good work over there in Japan; keep it up, girl!!
    -Ariel

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    1. Hi Ariel! Your uplifting words and your prayers – thank you! And as for my serving in Japan, it’s by God’s grace. Praise Him for the work that He’s doing. Actually, as I got the notification about your comment, I was just finishing my next blog post, which I hope to publish later today. It goes into more detail about what I’m doing.

      With regards to the blog post, so you’re thinking that the list is primarily to make distinctions between different areas of “talking with God”, but it also serves to highlight the overall importance of talking with Him? Hosanna brought up that prayer seems to include petitions, intercession and thanksgiving. But given that it’s listed as its own separate list item, does that mean that petitions, intercession and thanksgiving aren’t included in prayer after all? What do you think?

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      1. You’re very welcome! =) YES I saw that you posted about your adventures in Japan and I was like, “Yayyyy!” I’m gonna go comment on that in a second here, but first I want to give a few more of my thoughts on the blog post. I do think that what you said is right, that what Paul is saying is serving to make distinctions between different ‘kinds’ of prayer, and he is also emphasizing the importance of prayer. But yeah, I never really noticed that prayer was a separate item in that list…definitely something to think about. I feel like Paul may be saying that petitions, thanksgiving, and intercession are all different areas of prayer, but then by saying ‘prayer’, he is including the rest of the aspects of prayer, whatever those aspects may be…? I’m not really sure! Do you have any thoughts on this?
        -Ariel

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      2. Well, I do have a thought, though you might have to bear with me as I take multiple paragraphs to explain…

        Recently, a friend of mine expressed some thoughts about a different part of the Bible. Over and over, we are told to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. And then once (and only once) in the Bible, does the list expand to include the fourth element; strength (in the book of Mark). So was Mark misquoting Scripture when He added that element? We know that’s not true since His words were still included in the Bible – all of which was inspired by the Holy Spirit according to 2 Timothy 3:16. So then the question is, why does Mark include strength in his list?

        I haven’t studied this in depth, but my friend said that back in the time, or in the Hebrew and Greek languages writers didn’t use exclamation marks. Instead, they made use of other literary devices such as repetition and lists for the sake of emphasis. So when various authors throughout the books of the Bible said we were to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, the point wasn’t to compartmentalize loving the our Lord, but rather to express that we are to love Him with absolutely everything!!!! (with many exclamation marks) So when Mark added a fourth item to the list, He was all on board with the idea that yes, we are to love God with EVERYTHING and we could add more and more elements to the list because there is no way in which we should not love God. Does all this make sense?

        Anyway, this was her interpretation of Scripture. I tell you all this to say that it got me thinking about the list we were talking about in 1 Timothy. Paul lists four elements – four ways we can pray. You mentioned in your last comment that there may be other types of prayer besides thanksgiving, intercession and supplication. I would agree! What about praise and confession? Can you think of even more?

        So maybe this is another case in which a writer used a list for emphasis. Maybe Paul’s point was that prayer should be so central to our lives and relationships with God.

        Again, I haven’t studied up on this myself, but it sounds credible. So there you have the long explanation. What do you think? Do you know much about ancient Hebrew and Greek or the literary devices of the time? Is there anything you would add or disagree with?

        (And as a side-note, I still think this list is helpful for organizing my thoughts and motivating me to invest in my prayer life.)

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