We have a living God who is able to hear our prayers, and we are to be purposeful in our prayers.
1 Timothy 2:1 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”
As Paul begins to encourage Timothy and say “…first of all…” he seems to indicate that prayer is a Vital part of the Christian life. Then he indicates that prayers are to be made for all men; whether it be for the believer or unbelievers.
Here are some types of prayers which are purposeful.
a. Supplications = a petition: or prayer request
This would be a petition or request in which we would ask of God, or we would ask others to pray for us regarding a specific area.
Notice Paul’s supplications:
2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: vs 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.”
b. Prayers =OurcommunionwithGod
John Wesley Said “Supplication is here the imploring help in time of need: prayer is any kind of offering up our desires to God.”
Romans1:9 “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;”
Which also leads us to the next type of prayer…
c. Intercessions = praying on behalf of others
Romans 1:9 “…that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;”
Paul gives an example in 1 Timothy 2:2
1 Timothy 2:2-3 “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Vs 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;”
There a difference between vain repetition and praying without ceasing. These prayers are no doubt purposeful and are acceptable in the sight of God.
d. Giving of thanks
Thanking God for others is not sinful or vain. It is appreciating the work of God in a person’s life.
Paul did this several times:
Philippians 1:3-5 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Vs 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, vs 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
These are not vain prayers, they are vital, purposeful prayers!