First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, . . . that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 1Timothy 2:1,2b
Prayer is so very important. It is more than talking to God. It is a mind set. When we pray for ourselves and for others, we step out of our needs and control issues. It is an action. It is doing something. We place it in someone else’s hands – the hands that stretched out on the cross. We hand the problem over to the One who knows best how to handle it.
Supplications are pleas. They are asking God to supply the answer, to act or to help us understand. It is taking us out of trying to control of the circumstances and puts us in our place, and God in His. It is, “Here, Daddy. Do this for me.” There is nothing wrong with that. If God wants us to act, He’ll give us the direction and strength to do it.
When we intercede we are imitating Christ himself who intercedes, or steps in and takes our place, before the Father. It also helps us to have compassion for the person for whom we are praying. It is hard to earnestly pray for someone who has made you angry. It is nearly impossible to humbly go on your knees for a person who has broken your trust, your heart or your confidence. You have to first put that in God’s hands and deal with it. Then you can open your heart in prayer and step in for them.
Paul is wise in saying that we need to include thanksgivings in our prayers. When we thank God for all circumstances, we acknowledge that He works all things out for the good. We recall all He has done for us in the past and have confidence He will do it again. We acknowledge that what we have placed in His charge will be handled the right way.
In all three circumstances, we are putting God at the wheel and saying, ” Here, take it over. I know you’ll get me and so and so for whom I am praying where we need to go. ” It is easier to sit back and enjoy the ride when your trust the driver. That’s the way to lead a quiet, peaceful life, and a godly one, as Paul says. Because we have given it all to God, the stress and anguish is greatly reduced and the burden relieved.