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
"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!" (Revelation 1:18). Some years ago it was proclaimed, "God is dead." Hardly. Imagine the surprise of the people who said this to find, upon their own death, that not only is God not dead but neither are they. We live eternally either with God or without God. Our choice lies not in living eternally or dying, but in how we will spend that eternity.
For Reflection: Many of us live day-to-day, not looking too far into the future. Christianity calls us to take the long view, looking toward eternity. Where are my choices leading me? (For further reflection see Romans 6:8-10, Revelation 4:9-10, Colossians 1:18.)
Let us pray. Jesus, you are the Living One, the firstborn over all creation, the firstborn from the dead. You are before all things and You have supremacy in all things. You are the head that holds the body together. You live and reign for ever and ever!
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8). Jesus is the beginning and the end. He existed before time and he will continue to exist after time ceases. He was present at the creation. His birth inaugurated a new age for humankind and his return will bring a renewed creation. He is Lord of the past, the present and the future.
The title Alpha and Omega brings to mind the ancient teaching of exitus et reditus. We come from God and we will return to God. We are made in God's image and we will find our fulfillment in complete union with God. As Jesus and the Father are one, we hope one day to be one with the Trinity.
For Reflection: Is Jesus the beginning and the end of my day? Is he Lord of my past, my present and my future? Am I on the path to unity with God? (For further study, see Isaiah 44:6, 48:12-13; Revelation 4:8, 21:6 and 22:13.)
Let us pray. Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. You were present at the creation and you will be present at the end. You chose to become one of us at your birth, bringing salvation by your life, death and resurrection. You are worthy of all praise.
As we enter this time of thanksgiving and preparation to remember the birth of our Lord, let us begin a series on titles of Jesus. We won't get around to all of them, even all the ones in the New Testament, but we will learn more about Jesus by meditating on the descriptors used for him by the various authors. Learning more about Jesus in turn enriches our prayer life and helps us to praise him.
The book of Revelation is an excellent source of vivid images of Jesus and our first title is Morning Star taken from 22:16. "I am . . . the bright Morning Star." The image of the morning star or the rising sun, the light that shines in the darkness is threaded throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament it is a promise of the one to come. In the New Testament it refers both to Jesus birth and to his return. Until the glorious day of his return, we have the light of Scripture and the inspiration or light of the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts and guide our way.
For Reflection: Think of the Morning Star as you make transitions throughout your day. For other New Testament references see Luke 1:78, Ephesians, 5:14, 2 Peter 1:19 and Revelation 2:28.
Let us pray. Jesus, you are the bright Morning Star, the light of my life, the dispeller of darkness. Your are my lamp, my flashlight, my illuminator. You are the brightness in every dark day.
"I brought you into this world and I can take you out," we sometimes hear as a threat from a father to a wayward son. I think there is an application for that thought in the spiritual world.
As we continue to pray for persecuted Christians around the world, I have still been reflecting on the fact that the Christian enemy is not flesh and blood but the powers and spirits of darkness in this realm and in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). And our weapon against these spiritual forces is the word (the sword of the Spirit, the word of God).
God created everything in this world and in the spiritual realm by his word. His words, "let there be . . . ", took effect and accomplished what they were sent to do, including the creation of the angels. So the spiritual powers of darkness (fallen angels) were created by God - not for evil, of course, but for good. After creation, God continued to speak words to his people, but they didn't listen all that well. So he sent The Word, his Son. The Son spoke his words, but the people didn't listen all that well, until the Son shed his blood and said, "It is finished."
Those who did listen wrote down the word of God which we have with us today. And this written word, which came from the flesh-and-blood Word, to the people created by the spoken word, we learn so that we can overcome the spiritual forces in the world and in the heavenly places by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). The lamb's work is done (it is finished!) and our work is to speak the word of our testimony.
The word of our testimony is the Word of God (Jesus), the word of God (Scripture) and the words that tell what God has done for us personally. What was created by a word of God we have been empowered to overcome (or take out) by a word from us. In our war on the spirits and powers of darkness, our weapon is the word. The evil spirits don't have the Word on their side, we do. Let us speak to the evil spirits, the powers of darkness, and overcome them with the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
Let us declare. Spirits of war, hatred, murder, genocide, you were defeated by the blood of the Lamb. That same blood was shed for me so that I might be washed clean and set free from my sins. Furthermore, Jesus is my Lord. He has given me abundant life. He has justified me and made me righteous in his sight. By God's Word and by my word you are cast down. You have no more power in this world. You are defeated. The captives are set free.
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.