I Timothy 2:1
The church in Ephesus had been attacked by legalists. The legalists were probably telling the new believers that they now needed to “go deeper”. But their “go deeper” message was challenging the new believer to go right back into legalism. And, as so often is the case, their “go deeper” message took the emphasis off of evangelism.
Therefore, when Paul leaves Timothy in Ephesus he reminds him to exhort the people in the church to be praying specifically that people would be saved. In I Timothy 2:1, Paul tells Timothy that “supplications” should be made for all men. I love that word, “supplications”. The word reminds us that those who are without Christ are empty and have a huge need. To effectively pray for the lost we need to begin with a strong understanding that we are asking God to “supply” something in a person’s life that is totally missing.
We are praying for people whom we love. And we need to pray with a full understanding that they are empty, hopeless, helpless and in a desperate condition. Salvation for our friends, relatives and neighbors is not just a good idea. Praying for the unsaved can not just be academic. Effective prayer will begin with a clear understanding that those whom we pray for are in a desperate situation.
I think that is what Paul means when he says, “therefore I exhort first of all that supplications……be made for all men”.
Lord, help me today to pray in that way ! – Ken