Because I had stated in the previous weblog that, in the Bible, only intercession is made for people with whom we are involved, someone pointed me to the following verses, wondering if they are in harmony with my claim?
1 I am entreating, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, pleadings, thanksgiving be made for all mankind, 2 for kings and all those being in a superior station, that we may be leading a mild and quiet life in all devoutness and gravity, 3 for this is ideal and welcome in the sight of our Saviour, God, 4 Who wills that all mankind be saved and come into a realization of the truth.
It seems clear to me that it is impossible for us to pray and give thanks for all people without exception. After all, we are not God, Who knows and loves every human being!? Therefore, it is obvious that we can not offer intercessory prayer and thanksgiving for everybody, in an absolute sense. We can pray for all people and all personalities, in a relative sense, i.e., all people who are actually affecting us, directly or indirectly. That this is indeed the intention, is confirmed by the motive that Paul mentions: “so that we may lead a mild and quiet life in all devoutness and gravity”. We have a choice, as it were; we can complain about our employers, politicians, colleagues, neighbors, relatives, etc. or we can pray and give thanks for them. Making intercession and giving thanks for all people, in the knowledge that God is their Savior and has everything perfectly under control, changes us from restless, cynical, rebellious complainants to people, who, in full confidence, enjoy a mild and quiet life. And instead of ourselves losing much energy due negative feelings about others, we give them strength by thankfully praying for them (cp 2Cor.1:11).
What a difference!