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Prayer Subtleties

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and

thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, 

that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 

(1 Timothy 2:1–2, ESV)

Is prayer a discipline of the faith that Christians faithfully engage? Do you pray like you should? Is interceding on behalf of others a habitual priority? Does prayer by faith in Jesus Christ really work? Or does prayer find its function as a superstitious good luck charm? This line of questioning is aimed at encouraging prayer, admonishing those who neglect prayer, and correcting ill conceptions about prayer.

The necessity of this is quite frankly due to those who speak about the power of prayer and its effect. Those same people often fail habitually in the discipline of prayer. And also for those who treat prayer as a talisman of luck. Prayer is neglected by these until it is brought out like a rabbit’s foot and used at stressing moments. 

Don’t allow such a sharp rebuke to cloud your response. God’s Word calls His followers to pray without ceasing. Should we not then seek to grow in the discipline of prayer? The reality of the whole matter is that every Christian can grow in their discipline of prayer. The continuous discipline of praying, seeking, and knocking will be blessed, but it isn’t easy. 

Prayer is more than asking for what is wanted or needed for ourselves, but it is praying for major things outside of ourselves. Consider 1 Timothy 2:1-2, this passage presses us outside of ourselves. It calls Christians to pray for major things in the world. In this passage there are four types of request made known to God for all peoples, including kings and high positions. 

Hopelessness is a feeling of powerlessness in the middle of difficulty. While the feelings of impotence linger, hopeless feelings are not without powerful influence. The rage and frustration expressed in our modern era are no different from any other time in history. What is unique about our day? It is that we are living through this moment, when we’ve not had moments like this before. 

If you are old enough you’ll remember times like this and not be surprised. Even so, the majority of people haven’t lived through such turmoil. As always the foment is stirred by those who will profit off such chaos. In all of this the hopeless feelings that things are terribly awry plague most of mankind. Even our children know that something is amiss. 

What do we do? How shall we act? What can possibly be done to make things better? Apart from Christ’s returning I’m not sure things are supposed to get better. Plain and simple, we must pray. This isn’t something that we can put off till later, now is the time to pray. In Christ our first response to such things shouldn’t be to turn on the news, as we flip through Facebook. 

A response filled with faith is going to mirror the Word of God, it teaches—‘casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.’ (1 Pe 5:7 ESV) Pray, cast your care on Him, He cares for you. My friends let us together during these difficult days pray in concert with one another that God’s will be done.  

The subtle nuances of prayer are biblically defined and very useful. Here are a few of the categories of prayer that will be examined in the weeks to come.

  • Supplication—A humble and earnest ask
  • Prayers—standard requests of petition to God
  • Intercessions—Prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another.
  • Thanksgiving—a public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness, expressing goodness. 

May God’s goodness and grace carry us through these days as we seek the Lord’s face in all things. God Bless, PBJ


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