Summary: What is supplication and what is the proper way to do it?
We now come to the last letter of our acronym - ACTS. We are at Supplication. Dr. John R. Rice wrote a fairly thick book basically saying that prayer is asking or what we think of as supplication. I agree with this premise. However, in study for this message I found it interesting that one of the Hebrew words translated supplication, chalah, comes from a root that also can mean to be rubbed or worn, weak, sick, afflicted, grieved, to stroke in flattery as well as entreat. I strongly urge you to word studies because as you see this gives not only the concept of asking, but also a idea as to what state of being or emotion we can be in to make supplication to God.
Why do I come to God in supplication? Because life has consistently rubbed me so hard that I am feeling worn. Temptations are all around me and I feel weak. I am sick and maybe troubled or afflicted over what the diagnoses might be. Enemies and false brethren might also afflict us. I am grieved over a divorce or death of a loved one. I may have a special desire that I want to entreat the Lord to fulfill it. While flattery is not good, I may just want to be humble and come before the Lord asking Him for something but adding a few more words of adoration or appeal to His mercy or other part of His character as the reason for His granting it versus my own righteousness. Just in this one word and it’s meaning I can see many types of supplication. This is why study is so important for a Christian. There is so much to be found in His Word that will get us through the nasty now and now and prepare our hearts to live with Him in the sweet by and by.
Let’s see what else the Word has for us on this subject.
1 Tim 2:1-3
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (KJV)
As you can see from this passage, there are more types of prayers than what we used to spell ACTS. We shall do a word study of those other prayers next week. I think it is good to start with this group of verses to show that supplications and prayers are not all about us. They are to be made for all men. We tend to pray too much for ourselves and not much for others. We have religious freedom in this country, but it is slowly being taken away from us and we are not being allowed to live quietly and peacefully.
According to this passage, that might be for two reasons. First, we are more involved with politics than we are praying for those in authority. To be honest, I probably prayed more that God would remove the previous President than I did for him to do right. That was hard to do, but I, and the rest of us, should have done more of it.
Secondly, we are not living in godliness and honesty. Often, we get a leader representative of our nation rather than what we need. We have many liars and immoral people who have a form of religion or godliness that enjoy power and what opportunities it brings. Hence, our last administration was a shining example of who we are as a nation. Even true Christians are too wrapped up in materialism and worldly things and stretch the truth.