Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teach Us To Pray!

There are some incredible prayers in the Bible.  I immediately think of some of David's prayers in Psalms.  Psalms were songs, but if a song is directed to God, how is it not a prayer?  And then there are the two "most studied" prayers in the Bible, the model prayer that Jesus gave in Matthew 6, and his passionate prayer in John 17 for his followers - both present and to come.  These teach us to focus on God, share what is on our hearts, and pray knowing he hears and answers.
Paul's prayer for the Ephesians (and us) in chapter three is one of the most personal and passionate prayers recorded in scripture.  It comes from his joy in the grace of God, and from his desire that they experience the relationship with God that he enjoys.  I think what strikes me as so significant is that it teaches me what I need to being praying for regarding people I love.  This is he question I posed in my lesson last Sunday.  "If you knew that you could pray and bring about change in someones life, what would you pray for?"  Paul, and the Holy Spirit, give us the answer.
1. Pray that Christ may dwell in their heart!  God, "out of his glorious riches" will give anyone who seeks him all the power, encouragement, and grace to have a relationship with him.  The word "dwell" is present continuous tense - meaning if we keep trusting/seeking, He continues to dwell in us.
2.  Pray that they learn to love him TOGETHER!  Being "rooted and established" is a foundation of togetherness - with those on the same journey.  He never meant for us to do it alone!  We need spiritual family!  It is the only way to "grasp" the ungraspable - know the unknowable - and filled with the limitless power of God.  The "fullness of God" is not being "like God" but maturing in our relationship with God - which is the goal of togetherness (i.e. church).
3.  Pray that they learn OUR GOD IS ABLE!  His capacity to meet our spiritual needs far exceeds anything we can ask for in prayer.  More than we can even imagine!  When we learn this, all the glory is his!  Not attention but adoration!  In his church!  In Christ Jesus!  To all generation!
And all God's people said, "YES INDEED, LORD!"
I don't know which is more humbling.  That we can ask such things of God for others, or that others can ask such things of God for us.

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