Nate’s Notes: Pray Like Paul

by CCCLampasas

Ephesians 1:17-19a  17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

A rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy, “So your mother says your prayers for you each night? Very commendable. What does she say?”  The little boy replied, “Thank God he’s in bed!”  (Children’s Prayers)

The young boy’s mom expressed her thankfulness in prayer. Paul revealed a rich prayer life in his Epistles (or letters) to the churches. His personal encounters with Christ in prayer shaped how he interceded for other believers. He often included an appeal to God for the churches near the beginning of his letters. What can we learn from his prayer for the Ephesians?

He addressed the Father with reverence.  This parallels  the Lord’s Prayer when Jesus begins with ‘”Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Both Christ and Paul obey and respect the Father. Their prayers are not flippant or overly familiar. Although Jesus knew Him as His Abba Father, he also knew Yahweh as the ruler of the universe whose name should be hallowed or honored.

Paul was consistent. He perseveres in lifting up other Christians. We can learn a lot from his statement that Paul “keeps praying.” Do we endure day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year? It is so easy to get distracted or to give up in frustration. What if the Israelites had stopped walking around Jericho after a few days because they did not understand why God had them circle a city each day? What if Joseph had grown tired after his brothers sold him into slavery? What if he had given in to the advances of Potiphar’s wife? What if Joseph had renounced the Lord while he rotted in prison? What if Noah stopped building the ark due to his neighbor’s ridicule? God often works through us as we are faithful over time, in and out of season.

 Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Paul’s prayer explicitly mentions the Trinity. We serve a the Lord, Three in One. So many people want a god that they can easily understand. I do not want that. I would rather be in relationship with Yahweh who is infinite in knowledge and power. He is so good, holy, and wise that we often do not fully comprehend how He works in and through us. Do you want an idol in your own image, or do you desire to bow down in worship before the Alpha and Omega, the God who is, who was, and who evermore will be?

I cannot do justice to this prayer in a single devotional. If I filled every book in the world with praises to the Lord, my words would not begin to adequately describe and extol our Lord and Savior.

Prayer:

Father,

May we prayerfully read and apply Ephesians and the rest of Scripture to our lives. I pray that we will grow in knowledge and insight as we walk with You. We know that You love us more than I can express in words. We are cherished by the Almighty. May You be glorified, honored, and praised forever. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Nathan