You know how when you lose something, and you hunt and hunt for it.
There it is.
In the last place you look!
Question: Why is it you only find what was lost in the last place you look?
Answer: Because you don’t need to keep looking anymore! DUH!
Is that the way you use Prayer?
Do you do everything you can in your own strength? For as long as you can?
Are you acting like a toddler, saying, “I do it, MYSELF”?
Is the last thing you do, when your strength is gone, is to pray?
The final piece of armor Paul speaks of in his letter to the Ephesians is Prayer.
18a With all prayer and petition
In Greek, the words for prayer and praying are related to wishes.
proseux4335 (from prós4314, “towards, exchange” and euxe2171, “a wish, prayer”) – properly, exchange of wishes; prayer.
proseúxomai4336 (from prós4314, “towards, exchange” and euxomai2172, “to wish, pray”) – properly, to exchange wishes; pray – literally, to interact with the Lord by switching human wishes (ideas) for His wishes as He imparts faith (“divine persuasion“).
Even so, that doesn’t mean our prayers are to be like a “Wish List” for “Santa in the Sky.”
The Father wants us to match our wishes with His wishes.
14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14 NAS
Pray at All Times
18a With all prayer and petition pray at all times
Over and over, Paul preached the importance of prayer, continual prayer, a life of prayer. He especially emphasized prayers of thanksgiving.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; Colossians 4:2 NAS
16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NAS
Pray in the Spirit
18a With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit,
Yes, I know. Praying in the Spirit can be controversial in the church today.
Nonetheless, Paul tells the church at Corinth:
2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 1 Corinthians 14:2 NAS
14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also 1 Corinthians 14:14 NAS
But Note, the Spirit Does Pray with You
Even if the idea of someone today “praying in tongues” is not for you, the Spirit does pray with you. The Spirit intercedes for us, even as we are praying for someone else!
26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; Romans 8:26 NAS
Pray for the Saints – the Church
18b and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19a and pray on my behalf,
In particular, we are to pray for the saints.
The saints in the New Testament are believers, followers of Christ, who are set apart, who are different from the people of the world
hágios40 – properly, different (unlike), other (“otherness“), holy; for the believer, (hágios) means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world.”
Let us pray for one another.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16 NAS
What is Intercession?
Intercession is going between; acting between two parties seeking reconciliation; mediation.
Intercession happens in daily life whenever someone acts as a go-between, with power and authority.
Intercession is representation, such as by a lawyer, an agent, a negotiator, in lieu of another.
The Son of God is Our Intercessor.
In his first letter, the Apostle John tells believers, then and now, that we have an Advocate.
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 1 John 2:1 NAS
The word John uses, in Greek, is Paraklete.
paraklétos3875 (from pará3844, “from close-beside” and kaléō2564, “make a call”) – properly, a legal advocate who makes the right judgment-call because close enough to the situation. paráklētos (“advocate, advisor-helper”) is the regular term in NT times of an attorney (lawyer) – i.e. someone giving evidence that stands up in court.
Jesus is the One Who goes between God the Father and humankind.
28 “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.” John 16:28 NAS
Jesus is the One Who goes between humankind and YeHoVaH.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6 NAS
The Son of God and Son of Man is the one and only Intercessor.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Timothy 2:5 NAS
NOTICE: We are not the intercessor.
- There is only One Who is our Intercessor.
- There is only One Who has done the work of Intercession.
What is Intercessory Prayer?
Intercessory Prayer is when we pray for other people, when we pray on the behalf of someone else.
Our prayers of intercession can be no more than a manifestation of the power of the completed work of our divine Intercessor.
Dutch Sheets, in Intercessory Prayer: How God Can Use Your Prayers to Move Heaven and Earth, proposes this definition of intercessory prayer:
Intercessory prayer is an extension of the ministry of Jesus through His Body, the Church, whereby we mediate between God and humanity for the purpose of reconciling the world to Him, or between Satan and humanity for the purpose of enforcing the victory of Calvary.
Yes, we are to pray for one another, through intercessory prayer.
- We are to pray for our fellow believers.
- We are to pray for those in our particular church.
- We are to pray for those who are in other church gatherings.
- We are to pray for the Church universal, the Body of Christ in all the world.
- We are to pray for the hidden church, the persecuted church.
- We are to pray.
A mighty weapon in the hands of a believer!
So, what do we do now?
Put on the Armor of God!
I’ll share some of my practices …
… next time.
It’s ok to doubt, if you check it out!
Be a Berean!
10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:10, 11 ESV
Please join me in this journey of discovery.
- Leave a comment, or ask me a question.
- Share this blog with others, whether they are doubting, or not.
- Take what I say and CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!
© 2017 by the author