|Paul challenged Timothy to “war a good warfare.” It’s easy to read these words, but imagine Timothy’s challenge. He was in Ephesus, the home of Diana worship. The temple in Ephesus is recognized today as one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. This was not some insignificant religion. The town was immersed in this idolatrous worship. Young Timothy was to war a good warfare, and surely he was in a distinct minority. But Paul continued his writing, giving Timothy and believers today instructions on how to war a good warfare in a world lost in sin.
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (1 Timothy 2:1 )
These instructions are more than just prayer. Paul is encouraging Timothy “first of all” to rely on the Lord, and he lists four aspects of this reliance.
Supplications – Take your heavy burdens to the Lord.
Prayers – This includes worshipping God, acknowledging who He is while you are still in the trials of the war.
Intercessions – Look for the needs of others and take them to Lord for He is the one who can change the hearts of men.
Giving of thanks – Thanking God in the battle shows that the believer trusts that God is in it. By thanking God in warfare, the believer confesses that even though life is hard, he trusts that God is working things out for good.
God never intended any believer to live independent from Him. Therefore, successful warfare begins “first of all” with reliance on God with supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks.