Another section of prayer in Ephesians is in 1:16-19. It begins with the thought that Paul always gives thanks for them. This is not unusual for Paul. He seems to make thanksgiving for other believers a regular part of his prayer. ("I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers" 1:16. Also see Romans 1:8, 1 Cor 1:4, Phil 1:3)
Is it a regular part of our prayer? Do we start our prayer time by giving thanks to God whether for people or circumstances or God's provision? If not, it can be a good way to begin (see 1 Thes 5:16-18).
Paul goes on in Ephesians to pray that God the Father give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation as they come to know him. Why? So that they may know the hope to which God has called them, know the riches of his inheritance, and know the immeasurable greatness of his power. God's wisdom and revelation bring greater knowledge of God which will bring knowledge of the hope, riches and power that he supplies. This growth in wisdom and revelation is supernaturally provided. It is not worldly wisdom or revelation gained through study or practice. It is a gift as promised in Isaiah 11, now made available through the work of Jesus Christ. Through wisdom and revelation we have the hope of a wonderful eternal life, the riches of his blessings both on earth and in the world to come, and the power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in heaven at the right hand of the Father.
So let's apply this to our prayer life. Do we pray for wisdom and revelation for ourselves? It is a good thing to do, especially before we read Scripture. Do we have hope, riches and power in our lives? The power he gives us is to spread the Gospel. Many people envision spreading the Gospel as standing on the street corner yelling at people. In reality it is looking for the opportunities in our daily life to be good to others, pray with them and tell them about Jesus and what he has done for us. It does not have to be a scary proposition.
Do we pray for others to be blessed with God's wisdom and revelation? This would particularly include family members and those for whom we are responsible. Do we pray such a prayer for our pastor? Pastors need wisdom and revelation from God every day. And they need our prayers.
So let us follow in Paul's footsteps with this example of prayer. Let us give thanks in all things and ask for supernatural wisdom and revelation. Let us pray.
#Paul #Prayer #Prayers #Wisdom #Revelation
In looking again at 1 Samuel 25, we see that Nabal acted rashly toward David's emissaries. The account doesn't tell us that Nabal consulted any of his men about the truth of the men's claims that they had been guarding his shepherds through the winter. Had he consulted his shepherds, they would have told him the truth of the matter. So, not only does Nabal send them away without basic hospitality (about which he could have consulted his wife Abigail), but also without verifying their claims (about which he could have consulted his shepherds).
In response, David too acts rashly. He is immediately incensed at Nabal's refusal and has his men take up their swords with the intent of marching to Carmel and slaying all of Nabal's men. The record does not show that David stopped to pray or to consult anyone about the appropriate response. No, David sets out to take vengeance against not just Nabal but all the men belonging with Nabal.
For Reflection: Do I consult others before I make important decisions? Do I ask God for wisdom? Have I taken vengeance into my own hands?
Let us pray. Jesus, you are the seat of all wisdom. You know everything. You know people's hearts, including the hearts of those who have harmed me. It was not right for me to take vengeance into my own hands. I repent of doing that. I ask your forgiveness and the forgiveness of those whom I hurt.
"I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." Isaiah spoke these words (22:22) some time around 700 BC, long before Jesus was to be born. Yet Isaiah saw a distant future, a different time.
"O Key of David" brings us to the fourth of the O Antiphons. Jesus came to open prison doors and set the captives free. He came to open the gates of Heaven and to close the gates of Hell. The key to each is on his shoulders as the kingdom is on his shoulders, as the beam of the cross is on his shoulders, as life and death, judgment and justice are on his shoulders. He not only carries the key, he uses the key, he is the key.
For Reflection: What things that have been locked away need to be opened? Who in my life do I need to set free?
Let us pray. O Wisdom, O Lord, O Flower of Jesse, O Key of David, you are the key to healing, to freedom, to wholeness. Open my mind to your wisdom. Let it take root and flower in me that I might follow in your footsteps by opening doors and setting captives free.
Monday we looked at the choice the Israelites made in choosing to have a human king. The first three kings, Saul, David and Solomon had their good and bad points. The kingdom of Israel degraded into civil war and divided after that. Northern and Southern Israel were ruled by a succession of evil kings (and one queen) until both were conquered by foreigners. The rejection of God as their King cost them everything - even their country.
God did not force himself on the Israelites. Using their free will, they chose human leaders and suffered the consequences about which God had warned them. We use our free will every day, and we too either gain the advantages or suffer the disadvantages of our choices.
For reflection: What major decisions/choices am I facing? What might the long-term benefits or consequences be?
Let us pray. Father, I am not able to see as far down the road as you. You know better the advantages and disadvantages of the decisions I am facing. Impart your grace and grant me wisdom. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise" (Psalm 111:10).
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.