Friday, January 26, 2007
The Lord has been talking to me a lot lately about praying. Praying should be exciting! Why is it that the least attended meetings in church are the prayer meetings? Perhaps it’s because they seem to center around the negative –we’re listing all the people who are sick and what their needs are –not that there’s anything at all wrong with praying for people’s needs –but prayer meetings can become morbid expressions…in other words, we can get so mired up in ‘poor this’ and ‘poor that’ that we forget that there is so much for which to be grateful! I believe that God has a greater calling on our prayer lives. I can’t think of anything more exciting than the Creator of the Universe – the Omnipotent, Supreme God being willing to listen and have an interest in what I have to say!
Paul, in Ephesians chapter one wrote to the church in Ephesus--verses 15-23: “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
What a powerful way to pray for others! Is it not true that we often only pray for someone when they have a need? Do we pray for them when everything is going well? Or do we wait to storm the gates of heaven on their behalf after they’ve ‘fallen off the cliff’? Paul prayed for the people in Ephesus when everything was going well. He prayed for them simply because he had heard of their faith in the Lord and their love for all the saints. And the content of His prayer wasn’t just to say, “Lord, meet their need” but he petitioned the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” to give them a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of God. I think that’s exciting! I would love for my friends to pray for me that I would be given wisdom and revelation in God’s knowledge! For God to show me the Truth of who Christ is –to understand and be enlightened – so that I would be able to understand His Word and know what it is God wants me to do. And after I understand the truth –give me the wisdom to be able to apply His truths to my life! That’s how we need to be praying for our family and friends.
Then when we pray for their needs –that we pray that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened so that they may know what is the hope of His calling. That the Lord would flood their minds with such light that they may be gripped by the hope that is theirs in this life now and in the life to come. That He would clear their minds so they’ll be able to grasp the hope of their calling. That He’ll cause them to understand the part they have in the inheritance of Christ. That they are Christ’s inheritance –they are trophies –they are a gift of the Father to the Son –they are important – a part of His inheritance forever and ever. When Christians begin to look at themselves through Christ’s perspective and realize just how precious we are to Him that will boost our self-esteem tremendously! And how much more will we strive to do for His kingdom if we realize how important we are! And let them understand the surpassing greatness of His power. Let them experience the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives. Let them understand something that mentally they won’t be able to grasp (the surpassing greatness of His power). They’ll experience it but their minds won’t be able to grasp the awesome power that already is within them. Enlighten their eyes so that they will KNOW and understand what they already have (the hope of their calling), who they already are (an inheritance) and what they already have in the resurrection power of Christ that is within them.
Is it not true that what we often pray for is, “God give them this and provide for that?” I wonder if something more mighty and powerful would happen if we began to pray for God to illumine the minds of those who have needs and problems and heartaches in their life that they might be able to see what the hope of their calling is, who they are in Christ Jesus and the awesome power that is ALREADY abiding within them?! Once a person begins to see those three things something happens to them! Paul’s praying was on an entirely different level. He didn’t pray about ‘plastic’ things – ‘plastic’ stuff. But he prayed for something eternal. We are in such a big hurry to tell God what we need that we don’t even stop to think about what the foundation should be…We need to broaden our perspective of Who God is and how He wants to work in and through our lives…
Oh my goodness –the potential here is astounding! Go –and pray powerfully for your loved ones!