Two more lessons in 2012. Hard to believe the year is passed already. We begin a study of Romans on January 7.
Today we focus on prayer.
…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-20 (ESV)
Praying in the Spirit – that sounds so technical, but it’s not! We don’t have to have a special language or pray in a special place. Praying in the Spirit means that we pray in the Spirit’s power – the only way to pray in the will of God. When we pray in the Spirit, we are prevented from praying selfish prayers which aren’t in God’s will.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 (ESV)
Paul specifically asked for prayer that the Spirit would control his mouth, allowing him to speak for boldly for Christ. Since our words are a product of our mind, it’s a great idea to pray for the words we speak.
Another point Paul makes is that praying in the Spirit will allow us to intercede for others when we don’t even know how to pray!
We are to pray at all times. This doesn’t mean that every word is a prayer; it means to pray with perseverance – keep on praying until you get an answer.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 (ESV)
The Ephesians passage reminds us that we should pray for all the saints. Praying for other believers will help strengthen them to Satan’s attacks. I have personally discovered that when I pray for someone that I’m not particularly fond of, the Spirit gives me grace to love that person even more. So praying for others strengthens them and strengthens you!
Today we’ve focused on prayer and learned that we should continually pray. When we don’t know what to pray for or how to pray, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to help us. We should pray for our words, because our words come from our mind, and we need to be sure that those words have not been hijacked by Satan. We also know that praying for others helps them to withstand Satan’s attacks.
As this year closes, will you commit to praying daily for one person that you’re not fond of – and one person that you like – each and every day? I am already doing this, and I can’t begin to express the difference it’s made in my life. I have a particular alarm which goes off long enough after I’ve awakened to get my caffeine fix. When that alarm sounds, I pray for three very specific people/entities. The prayer isn’t long, but it’s a daily habit. I won’t know how that helped those people/entities until I get to heaven, but somehow that prayer has illuminated other areas in my life that need God's help, and as a result, I'm growing every day. Try it. It will change your life!
I will talk to you once more before the New Year. May this weekend be safe and blessed and may your New Year’s resolutions become habits!