We have arrived at the end of the book of Ephesians. What a book! We have seen that probably no other book of the Bible so clearly and orderly describes the grace of God in giving us Jesus Christ as our Redeemer, and expounding the spiritual blessings we have received in and through Him. I encourage you to take a few minutes and sit, quiet your heart, and read through the 6 chapters of Ephesians in one sitting. If you have time (or make time), after reading some incredible passage, like Ephesians 1:3-14, just stop, meditate on what you just read, asking Holy Spirit to sink the truth down deep in your heart. Incredible! Actually, after the Apostle Paul writes these words, he himself pauses and prays for his readers, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Eph. 1:17-19). Paul does the same thing again at the end of chapter 3, after expounding the “revelation of the mystery” of the gospel and what it means for the church. Paul was a man of prayer! He prayed for the people he was called to serve and for the gospel to be proclaimed and received. A quick read of his letters reveals that he prayed for himself, the churches, the ministers of the gospel, for political leaders, for everything! Prayer was not something he did once and a while, prayer was his lifestyle, the backbone of his existence, like breathing itself. At the end of his letter to the Ephesians, we have this charge from him, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak”(Eph. 6:18-20 NASB).
The purpose of the Christian life is to live for Jesus, by proclaiming the good news of salvation that God is offering the world through Jesus Christ! That’s why we have been saved. If we choose to live that life, we will be entering a battle like we have never seen before. God has given us heavenly armor with which to fight the battle, but our most powerful weapon is a persevering prayer life – that is communing with God, asking for and listening to His directives, receiving strategies to be victorious in our calling as ambassadors for Christ. You say, “but I don’t know how to pray”. That’s OK! God says, uses every kind of prayer and petition you can think of. You say, “but I don’t have time to pray”. That’s OK. God says, pray all the time in the Spirit. That means you can pray no matter what you’re doing, because in our flesh we can be working on something, while in the Spirit, we can be praying. We are wonderfully complex creatures, not limited by our physical restrictions. We are body, soul and spirit. Practice talking to God while you are busy doing something else! The early church was a praying church. Look at these scriptures, which command us to pray all the time:
- Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1)
- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4:6)
- pray without ceasing (1Thess. 5:17)
- Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving (Col. 4:2)
- These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
- I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone (1Tim. 2:1)
But you say, “how long should I pray for”. God says, persevere until you get the answer. (Read Luke 18:1-8).
But you say, “I don’t know what to pray for.” That’s Ok. God says two things:
- Be on the alert: literally means, keep yourself awake so you can discern what might be a potential threat. Then pray about that!
- Pray for all the saints, especially those who are called to preach the gospel – pray for boldness for church leaders to declare the gospel and biblical truth: pastors, prophets, evangelists, missionaries, etc. Actually, pray that every Christian would be bold enough to preach to the people in their circle of influence. Pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith, even as Paul was in chains.
Finally, the last 4 verses give us instruction on how to pray for the churches and the saints – pray for comfort, peace, love and grace to be in abundance, which is ours from God as we abide in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people need prayer for these to be in their lives especially during difficult, trying times.
Now fellow followers of Jesus, I hope you have been convicted as I have to pray more. Surveys reveal it is the number one thing Christians say they need to do more of. A powerful church is a praying church – no prayer, no power. If we want our life to be used by God to impact the world around us, we have to tap into the power available to us through prayer. Prayer connects us with the God who is able to bring about His purposes through yielded vessels. The great saints of old, whose stories we love to read are famous for their great accomplishments, all had one thing in common – they prayed without ceasing!
Lord, I want to be used by you to change my world, increase my desire to pray always, about everything. Teach me to sit at your feet and commune with you, receiving all that I need to accomplish all that you want me to do.
Recommended reading: The power of prayer and the prayer of power, by RA Torrey. Prevailing Prayer, by D. L. Moody
Have a blessed week!