ALL KINDS OF PRAYER
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should (Eph. 6:18-20).
Here’s a little gem on prayer for us today.
Prayer is a mystery, isn’t it? “Prayer” plays a part in every religion and yet, in every religious system that worships a man-made god, not the true God of revelation and of the Bible, the pray-ers’ empty words go nowhere and dissipate into the air. Who hears them? Certainly not the non-existent god they worship and certainly not the devil who masquerades as their god!
Prayer in the Bible is very different. It is based on the solid relationship between the Father and His children. God is no creation of human imagination. He is alive and real and has fully revealed Himself to us in His Son, Jesus. He has removed the barrier of sin through Jesus and invited us to be reconciled to Him and to come back into His family as His beloved sons and daughters.
The hallmark of any real relationship is communication. People who love each other talk to each other. The gods don’t talk; they cannot. However, God talks. He has reopened the lines of communication between Him and us. He talks to us in many ways and has invited us to talk to Him. He has also reassured us that He will respond in whatever way is appropriate, for our best and for His glory. Answering our prayers is one way in which He will show the world what He is like.
In this passage of Scripture, Paul indicates that there are different ways of communicating with God. One of the most important ways is by worshipping Him. Expressing to Him our adoration and appreciating Him for who He is and what He does, enables us to focus on the true God, one who is Creator, sovereign and supreme in the universe, and yet who has come down to our level in the person of His Son to be with us. We did not make Him; He made us.
Every other so-called “god” reflects the ones who created them. They are takers, not givers, demanding, cruel and unpredictable like the ones who invented them. The God of the Bible, the Father of Jesus is a lover and a giver. He gave His only Son to save us from the predicament we created for ourselves.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness (2 Pet. 1:3).
Jesus assured His disciples, during a teaching session on prayer (Matt. 6:5-8), that the Father knows what we need before we ask Him. We have no need to worry about the everyday practical details of our lives because our Father has promised to take care of them when we do what He wants us to do – to live lovingly and generously towards everyone around us under His authority.
Prayer also includes participating in what God is doing on the earth. As God’s children, He wants us to be fully involved in re-establishing His rule on earth. The first pair elected to follow Satan’s suggestion and to throw off God’s authority and His way of doing things in favour of their own, and landed the world in the mess it is now in. Jesus came with a message for His people. “God’s here to take charge again. He is putting right everything that went wrong when man rebelled.”
God chose Jesus to be His king (Psa. 2:1-6). Jesus has set up His government on earth again and invites anyone who will trust Him and entrust his life to him to live under His rule – His standards of love, justice, righteousness and truth which work where man’s selfish and greedy rule has failed.
God is a Father. He also loves to be included in our personal lives. He invites us to share the intimate details of our lives with Him. He knows it all, but He wants us to be transparent with Him. This allows Him to help us understand the tough times we go through and the hardships we endure so that we can co-operate with Him in His work in us to make us holy instead of rebelling and mistrusting Him and harming our fellowship with Him.
There are many more facets to prayer but all of them form part of this open, trusting, two-way communication between God and us as Father and children. The Holy Spirit is intimately involved in all of this. He is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Jesus. He interprets our deepest heart’s cries to the Father, even when we don’t know how to pray (Rom. 8:26-27) and He shares the Father’s heart with us in response.
Paul was aware of his own need for the Father’s grace and power to help him in his difficult task of taking the message of Jesus to a hostile world. Both Jew and Gentile were against God, stubbornly resisting the good news that God loved them enough to intervene on their behalf to rescue them from self-destruction and bring them back to Himself.
“Please include me in your prayers,” he entreated. In some mysterious way, Paul knew that prayer made a difference. God acts powerfully when His people participate in what He is doing. Paul needed courage, boldness and strength to do what God called Him to do. God would give it to Him, but in partnership with those who cried out to Him for help.
That’s how intimately He wants to be involved with us in our lives and in His work through us!
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
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