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1 Timothy 2:1 – First of all

08-11-2023 - Posted by Hans

I am entreating, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, pleadings, thanksgiving be made for all mankind.

Of the many matters to which Paul will further draw attention in this letter, he is the first to call for “petitions, prayers, pleadings, thanksgiving.” It is a general call and not just for Timothy. Nor is any distinction made here between private or public prayer (cf. 2:8). The appeal apparently applies in both settings.

Four types of prayer are mentioned that partly overlap. The word for petitions contains the element of ‘binding’ and therefore of urgency. It is compelling to present something. The word prayers is very general and overlaps the three other types of prayer. The underlying Greek word (proseuche) contains the elements ’towards’ and ‘good’. That is significant: prayer is not primarily about saying something, but about focusing on Father God. The third word pleadings refers to requests that we present to God on behalf of others. In thanksgiving we express our gratitude to God. Paul mentions it last, perhaps because it ‘finishes’ everything we put before God. Whatever we say to God and whatever our desires and requests, there may always be the grateful realization that His way is the best!