“First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men.” 1 Timothy 2:1 Amplified
As we continue looking at verses regarding thanksgiving, this verse today encourages us to give thanksgivings on behalf of others. So not only are we to be thankful to God for what WE receive, but also for what others receive. The verse says on behalf of ALL men, all people. We don’t usually have a problem with being thankful for the people around us who are a blessing to us or who are nice to us, but those others? The human tendency is to complain and runaway from those “others”, those who bring stress and even harm into our lives.
There are a number of people who dread the Thanksgiving holiday because it means they will have to be with their families and that can often be uncomfortable. The larger the group the more chance there is that there may be several people who don’t get along or who we don’t get along with. Past hurts, that may go as far back as our childhood, resurface and the heartache is felt all over again.
I believe this verse is twofold. First, Paul tells us to offer petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings on behalf of all the people we know. Do you pray for those who have hurt you? Not the prayer that tells God to go get ’em like sicking a dog on an enemy, but the prayer that thanks God for blessing them, and asks God to continue to bless them. Secondly, in praying for all people, even those we don’t like, doesn’t that humble us before God and bring us closer to Him? To me that’s the key to praying for all people. We can be thankful that though they bring us stress, they bring us closer to our Creator Who gives us the peace we want and need.
Give Him the stress and be thankful.