Prayers & Supplication
“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” (Hebrews 5:7, ESV)
Hebrews 5:7 is an amazing passage for numerous reasons, but mostly because in it we learn that Jesus was heard because of his reverence. Jesus prayed. He prayed with cries and tears. He prayed with an earnest faith.
This passage has a lot to offer. It is one of those passages that teaches Christians how to speak. Christian life is chalked full of mysterious lingo. Even so, it is lingo that can mostly be explained biblically. Christians speak to one another using this language, but we must realize that it only holds meaning for those who are embedded in Christian culture.
One word in particular that comes from this passage is the word supplication. It isn’t a word that is used everyday. Were it not immediately tied with prayer, it might not be evident that it relates to prayer itself. Defining the word is important, so that we might grasp more deeply the breadth and width of our prayer lives beyond asking for our Christmas wishlist.
If praying is asking God, or talking to God, making our requests known to God, then what is supplication? It is a more nuanced manner of prayer. Supplication is a humble entreaty or a pleading with God.
The significance of Jesus praying as recorded in Hebrew 5:7 is that he offers up prayer and supplications, with loud cries and tears… being heard for His reverence. He has a particular posture of heart in praying. It isn’t a posture of the body. Instead it is a place of faith filled humility before the one to whom He was pleading.
Supplicating and praying go hand in hand. It is not simply a request, but a heart felt pleading. Praying before God is not merely mechanical wrote. It isn’t a mantra, nor some hocus-pocus that gets our requests answered. Rather it is the heartfelt drawing near of children to their heavenly Father asking specifically for His hands to work.
“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (Ephesians 6:18, ESV)