Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SPIT it Out: A short study on prayer

1 Timothy 2:1
1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 

The first charge that Paul delivers to Timothy is in this verse concerning prayer. Before any corrective changes are to be made in the assembly, the Church is to devote themselves to prayer.

But Paul is very specific about the kinds of prayer the Church should engage in. He exhorts them to make supplications, prayer, intercessions and give thanks for all men. These prayers that Paul asks for is horizontal in nature--prayer for each other. The prayer is not a means of worship in this passage, but a practical tool for the benefit of one another. Below is a breakdown of the "types" of prayer and what they mean in relation to the community of Believers. As a bonus, it turns out to be an acronym: SPIT.

  1. Supplication (Deesis Strong's # 1162) This word relates directly to a need. It is prayer that makes a specific request known to God. The intent is for God to fulfill that need for a brother/sister.
  2. Prayer (Proseuche Strong's # 4335) Commonly used term for prayer. Note that the connotation of this term incorporates the pace of prayer. In other words, this term is for corporate prayer. Prayer in this light is a social experience where our faith in God is on display, and we grow as a result.
  3. Intercessions (Enteuxis - Strong's # 1783) This term is the most interesting of the four as it only appears in this form twice in scripture and both instances are in this letter. The original word means a "falling in with or an interview." The picture being a brother meeting with God and speaking on another person's behalf. An interview requires a clear intent, a reserved meeting time and attendance of all parties in some form. We have that when two or more are gathered together.
  4. Thanks (Eucharista - Strong's # 2169) A community that sings dirges together can also dance the jig together. For the most part, Churches have few problems getting some people together to complain about issues with God, but scripture teaches us to also rejoice and give thanks to God. This word means simply that, to be so full of genuine thanks that is overflows.
Granted, this is not a checklist of what every prayer is. But we certainly can see these elements in play during every mid-week prayer meeting. Together we build a sense of community that holds the people of God together by yielding to the Holy Spirit in prayer... supplication, intercession and thanks.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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