on 1-timothy 2 :1
I exhort - that, first of all - Prayer for the pardon of sin, and for obtaining necessary supplies of grace, and continual protection from God, with gratitude and thanksgiving for mercies already received, are duties which our sinful and dependent state renders absolutely necessary; and which should be chief in our view, and first of all performed. It is difficult to know the precise difference between the four words used here by the apostle. They are sometimes distinguished thus: -
Supplications - Δεησεις· Prayers for averting evils of every kind.
Prayers - Προσευχας· Prayers for obtaining the good things, spiritual and temporal, which ourselves need.
Intercessions - Εντευξεις· Prayers in behalf of others.
Giving of thanks - Ευχαριστιας· Praises to God, as the parent of all good, for all the blessings which we and others have received. It is probable that the apostle gives directions here for public worship; and that the words may be thus paraphrased: "Now, I exhort first of all that, in the public assemblies, deprecations of evils, and supplications for such good things as are necessary, and intercessions for their conversion, and thanksgiving for mercies, be offered in behalf of all men - for heathens as well as for Christians, and for enemies as well as for friends." See Macknight.
on 1-timothy 2 :1
I exhort, therefore - Margin, "desire." The word exhort, however, better expresses the sense of the original. The exhortation here is not addressed particularly to Timothy, but relates to all who were called to lead in public prayer; 1 Timothy 2:8. This exhortation, it may be observed, is inconsistent with the supposition that a liturgy was then in use, or with the supposition that there ever would be a liturgy - since, in that case, the objects to be prayed for would be prescribed. How singular would it be now for an Episcopal bishop to "exhort" his presbyters to pray "for the President of the United States and for all who are in authority." When the prayer is prescribed, do they not do this as a matter of course?
First of all - That is, as the first duty to be enjoined; the thing that is to be regarded with primary concern; compare Luke 12:1; 2 Peter 1:20. It does not mean that this was to be the first thing in public worship in the order of time, but that it was to be regarded as a duty of primary importance. The duty of praying for the salvation of the whole world was not to be regarded as a subordinate and secondary thing.
Supplications - It is not entirely easy to mark the difference in the meaning of the words used here, and it is not essential. They all relate to prayer, and refer only to the different parts of prayer, or to distinct classes of thought and desire which come before the mind in pleading for others. On the difference between the words supplications and prayers, see notes on Hebrews 5:7.
Intercessions - The noun used occurs only in this place and in 1 Timothy 4:5, of this Epistle. The verb, however ἐντυγχάνω entungchanō, occurs in Acts 25:4; Romans 8:27, Romans 8:34; Romans 11:2; Hebrews 7:25. See the meaning explained in the Romans 8:26 note; Hebrews 7:25 note. There is one great Intercessor between God and man, who pleads for our salvation on the ground of what he himself has done, but we are permitted to intercede for others, not on the ground of any merit which they or we possess, but on the ground of the merit of the great Advocate and Intercessor. It is an inestimable privilege to be permitted to plead for the salvation of our fellow-men.
Giving of thanks - That is, in behalf of others. We ought to give thanks for the mercy of God to ourselves; it is right and proper also that we should give thanks for the goodness of God to others. We should render praise that there is a way of salvation provided; that no one is excluded from the offer of mercy; and that God is using so many means to call lost sinners to himself.
For all men - Prayers should be made for all people - for all need the grace and mercy of God; thanks should be rendered for all, for all may be saved. Does not this direction imply that Christ died for all mankind? How could we give thanks in their behalf if there were no mercy for them, and no way had been provided by which they could be saved? It may be observed here, that the direction to pray and to give thanks for all people, showed the large and catholic nature of Christianity. It was opposed entirely to the narrow and bigoted feelings of the Jews, who regarded the whole Gentile world as excluded from covenant mercies, and as having no offer of life. Christianity threw down all these barriers, and all people are on a level; and since Christ has died for all, there is ample ground for thanksgiving and praise in behalf of the whole human race.
See Supplementary note, 2 Corinthians 5:14.
on 1-timothy 2 :1
2:1 I exhort therefore - Seeing God is so gracious. In this chapter he gives directions, With regard to public prayers With regard to doctrine. Supplication is here the imploring help in time of need: prayer is any kind of offering up our desires to God. But true prayer is the vehemency of holy zeal, the ardour of divine love, arising from a calm, undisturbed soul, moved upon by the Spirit of God. Intercession is prayer for others. We may likewise give thanks for all men, in the full sense of the word, for that God willeth all men to be saved, and Christ is the Mediator of all.