Revised and re-posted below the Verse of the Day for November 7, 2015 introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God.
I Timothy 2:1-2 (NLT):
[Instructions about Worship] I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
The more familiar King James Version speaks of four categories of prayer:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
With these prayers we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it. White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking, supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting the “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)
To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge” which provides protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)
As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion. Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” (Ephesians 6:18)
Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally, “giving of thanks” involves “showing oneself grateful.” It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude,” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)
This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”
As I was working on this blog entry, I recalled a comment from Graham Cooke, who exhorted believers to compose and pray a prayer for patience. I followed his advice and would like to share the following poem in closing:
A Prayer for Patience
“My suggestion for people in a season of birth or upgrade
is to write out a prayer for patience and pray it every day.”
For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance,
so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God,
and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.
Hebrews 10:36 (Amplified Bible)
We look back and pause and then look ahead to see
Clearly who God is and who He wants us to be.
We still journey down the road less traveled by
And pray that patience may serve as our trusted ally.
We must say “No” to the pressures of this life
And say “Yes” to the rest God gives, despite the strife.
As we stay our minds on Him, we abide in peace.
When we praise God, works of the enemy decrease.
May we remain and not fall by the wayside as some
But like Job wait until at last our change shall come.
Patient endurance seems delayed for some reason,
But fruit abounds to those who wait in this season.
We pray that in this time of transition and shift
That we embrace waiting as a wonderful gift.
Without question in the midst of the turbulent times in which we live, there is always something to pray about.
The video “Pray without Ceasing!” shows photos of people praying to and praising God!