“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NASB).
The last element of prayer given to us here in 1 Timothy 2:1 is thanksgivings. We can illustrate the importance of thanksgiving with a look at the following incident from Jesus’ life…
“As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ He looked at them and said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, ‘Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you'” (Luke 17:11-19 NLT).
This account relates to our passage from 1 Timothy 2:1 in an important way. You see, Jesus took note of those who received the benefit of His work in their lives but failed to thank Him for it. This tells us that Jesus notices when we neglect to thank Him for what He has done. It also reminds us that it is important to acknowledge and express our appreciation for the blessings and provisions that God has given us.
This aspect of our prayer life is also summarized by two passages from the New Testament Scriptures…
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers” (Philippians 4:6 TLB).
“Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20 TLB).
Finally, one author provides us with a valuable reminder concerning this passage…
“Prayer does not mean only asking God for things; it also means thanking God for things. For too many of us prayer is an exercise in complaint, when it should be an exercise in thanksgiving… We have the right to bring our needs to God; but we have also the duty of bringing our thanksgivings to him.” (1)
(1) Barclay, William. William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible, The Way Of Prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-7 continued), https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/1-timothy-2.html