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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy


1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,


Paul exhorts Timothy and his congregation to pray for every one (1 Tim 2:1-7). The emphasis is on the word “all,” which occurs six times in seven verses.

The challenge to prayer emphasizes evangelism. The apostle lists four words for prayer in verse one:





1 Therefore

The “therefore” serves as a transition to something new. Paul is in the process of instructing Timothy in the context that he was to confront false teachers in Ephesus.

I exhort [urge] first of all

Because some false teachers in the Ephesian church were implacable about their views, Paul gave Timothy specific directions about how to deal with them. He also addressed the abuses that followed their teaching.

The words “first of all” explain the role of prayer in fulfilling the Great Commission.

that supplications [requests],

“Supplications” are petitions to God based on a specific need. They are requests for God to meet their issues. The Greek term refers to making an urgent request to God. A supplication prayer recognizes a need and petitions God to meet that need, especially the need to reach the lost.


“Prayers” is an overall word for prayer, including general petitions and requests. “Supplications” were to pray out of a specific need, but “prayers” were to pray without a specific problem before the believer. This is to pray for ordinary issues.


Paul uses this particular word for “intercession” only here and in 1 Timothy 4:5. It carries the idea of pleading for another but also communicates the concept of freedom of access. It is the privilege of having access to God to plead on their behalf. The believer stands between God and people. Intercession is to pray on behalf of another (Ro 8:26; He 7:25). It is a term of advocacy and an imperative that Christians advocate for non-Christians. It takes someone with empathy to pray for the lost.

and giving of thanks be made for all men,

Believers should not discriminate between persons, as God does not discriminate between people. Christians should pray and even give thanks “for all men.” One reason is that God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4).


Prayer for all men is the first priority in ministry.


Christians should include four elements in their prayer life: requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving. All these elements of prayer should consist of praying for the lost, the starting point of reaching those without Christ. It is the first order of ministry.