Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.
I am commanded to practice mercy in my prayers. 1 Timothy 2:1
First of all, then, I exhort that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
This must be a mistake. It must be a misprint. Certainly we cannot be expected to pray for everyone, to be thankful for everyone. Can we?
This passage often reminds me of the scene in the movie, “Fiddler on the Roof” where someone asks the rabbi if there is a proper blessing for the Tsar. His reply was, “Of course there is a blessing for everyone.” His blessing was, “May God bless and keep the Tsar…far away from us.”
That was a humorous answer, but how should I pray and intercede with thanksgiving for all men?
Should we not pray according to God’s will for all men?
How can we know God’s will for all men?
Well let’s look at 2 Peter 3:9 to see if we can get some idea.
The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
As I am learning to be merciful, one of the most valuable things that I am learning is to pray for mercy especially for those that I would naturally count as enemies; for those who mistreat me or those that I love, for those who are ungodly and wicked.
This is not complicated but it takes a determination to do by faith what I would never choose to do by my own will. But then my will is not what is important if I am a disciple of Jesus.
God of mercy, Father of love, give me grace to do what I see is your will. Help me remember to speak your will to you as I pray in obedience to your word. Thank you for this wonderful lesson in mercy that you want to make flesh in me as I am becoming more and more like your Son my Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen.