Read: Ephesians 6:10-20
The following post was first published on 22nd December 2016 under the title ‘Pray on all occasions’.
Consider: Having encouraged the Ephesian believers to put on the whole (all) the armour of God and told them to take up the shield of faith with which to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the devil, Paul moves on to prayer. He asks his readers to pray on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests and to pray for all believers.
Firstly, Paul wants the believers to be so disciplined in prayer that they can pray on all occasions. Have you noticed how prayer naturally flows when facing difficult situations, but it is often less easy when life is flowing along sweetly? However, Paul’s logic is that prayer is relevant in every situation of life.
Secondly, Paul encourages them to use all kinds of prayers and requests. Prayer can take many forms; typically:
adoration – praising God for his greatness;
confession – admitting sin and asking for God’s mercy and forgiveness;
thanksgiving – thanking God for his blessings;
intercession – praying for others.
Hopefully you can see that prayer doesn’t just have to be about our requests. It should involve all aspects of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and intercession.
Thirdly, Paul wants the Ephesians to pray for all believers. Praying is easy for those you like and get on with, but it is more difficult to pray for other Christians who might differ in their beliefs from us. Paul’s exhortation is that we should be praying for ‘… all the Lord’s people’. Let God exercise your heart to show you for whom you should be praying and the situations that he wants you to pray about. Don’t allow yourself to restrict your prayers only to your own church, or denomination. Keep an open mind and heart, allowing God to reveal to you the needs of others for whom you should be praying.
Pray: Father, prayer is an enormous privilege, but also a challenge. Help us to use the diversity of prayer to enrich our relationship with you. Reveal to us the needs of others for whom we should be praying. Amen