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1 Timothy 2:1

ESV First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
NIV I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—
NASB First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made in behalf of all people,
CSB First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,
NLT I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
KJV I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
NKJV Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

What does 1 Timothy 2:1 mean?

Paul's phrasing here makes a clear shift from one topic to the next. In prior verses, Paul has charged Timothy to defend sound teachings and to avoid the errors of those who teach without actual knowledge. This section begins a direct focus on church-related issues.

Paul's first order of business is prayer. He uses all four main Greek words for prayer here to emphasize his point. Deēseis, proseuchas, enteuxeis, and eucharistias are translated into English as "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings." Each word is distinct in the original Greek language, but those differences are not necessarily the point of Paul's statement. His purpose is to highlight the need for prayer in the church, rather than particular aspects of prayer such as thanksgiving or requests.

According to Paul, these prayers need to be offered for "all." The Greek word anthrōpōn is used here, which includes all humankind, both men and women. The next verse adds further detail regarding whom these "all people" include, and later parts of the passage will explain what God's desire is for them. Paul emphasizes "all" again in both 1 Timothy 2:4 and 6. His words reflect both the teachings of Jesus (John 3:16) and his own letters. In Romans 10:9–11, Paul states "… if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, 'Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.'"
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