Saturday, January 12, 2008

Instructions For A Young Preacher #4

The fourth item of instruction given to Timothy by Paul the apostle is found in 1 Tim. 2:1 . . . That, first of all, supplications, prayers, inercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men. This is a very large order to fill. One of the greatest privileges of a preacher is to stand in the gap between a lost sinner, a broken hearted friend, or a member of a church and God. It is an awesome responsibility, but it is a great privilege, also.

A supplication is a need, actually and basically the Greek word means to be tied up or bound. So, we are bound to our own weaknesses, and we cry out to God for liberty from that bondage as we beg God to release from worldly bondage those who are lost, those who are in need, those who have lost loved ones. For these we are to have supplications to God.

It goes without saying that preachers should pray. Without prayer a preacher would have no power at all with the use of scripture, with witnessing, with caring for others. Prayer is not only our link of communication with God, but it is also our link to communication with other men. Our love is shown by our prayers for others. Our churches are stronger with prayer. The pulpit is more powerful through prayer. God is nearer through prayer. Prayer is a guard against sin and an incentive to go forward in God's work.

Intercessions are the finishing of our prayers. The basic Greek word means "to hit the mark, to come to a person without invitation." Prayer is our begging or pleading with God due to our own need and helplessness; intercession is actually reaching God with that prayer so that it will be answered. Many concessions should be made before intercessions can be made. We must deal with our own sins, grow in grace and knowledge, and desire God's will in our lives.

Once the preacher has approached God through prayer and interceded for others, he must give God thanks. This implies that our thanks is given before we see the answer to our prayers; because what God is going to do we must believe is his will, and we must trust him to do the best thing. Let us thank him beforehand for all of his providences.

These supplications, prayers, intercessions and givings of thanks are to be done for all men. We cannot be racially discriminate, gender discriminate, or socially discriminate. We must pray for all people. Do not hold back prayers for some while begging God's blessings upon others. There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; there is no difference between the races in the presence of God; there is no difference in whether a person is of the so-called "clergy" and "laity." All men need prayer, and it is the duty of every God-called preacher to pray in that way.

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