"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men..."
As a quick reminder, we have explored the importance of having a right attitude before God and the importance of examining our own hearts to make certain we desire to place God's will and ways in prayer. As our hearts are cleaned before the Lord we are then able to offer prayers of intercession for others with hearts of thankfulness before God.
Today we look at the line, "be made for all men (or people.)" When we see the word "all" we are talking about being inclusive and NOT exclusive. If we are desiring to be people of prayer we cannot be picky about who we pray for. All means all! It doesn't have to do with someone's beliefs, their political stance, or their economic place in society. Perhaps you would think in your own mind that you absolutely could not pray for a certain individual. If so, then that is a huge red flag in your own heart in regard to the will of God to use you in prayer. That red flag is going to be a signal to you that perhaps there's something in your own heart that needs to change.
How do I practice this kind of praying? Let me give you a couple examples that happened to me this past week as I have been studying in depth this passage of Scripture. I was at Walmart and encountered a young mother with an unruly child. She looked exasperated. Instead of "judging" her for not keeping her child in control, I felt the Spirit tug my heart to pray for her. In another aisle I saw a lady so bent over she could not look up due to a physical condition, again the Lord prompted me to pray for her as I walked by. I went down another aisle and went by two people arguing and the Lord asked me to pray for peace over them. This morning watching the news of continued violence in our major cities my heart felt prompted to pray that the important message of racial injustice and equality would not be lost because of those who want nothing but violence and destruction but that God's mercy and justice would be balanced in our land!
I have learned that so often the Spirit prompts us to pray but are we listening? We don't need to know why, we just need to be obedient at the moment and trust that the Lord knows the need, we only need to pray!