Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday, May 7th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 15-16; Psalm 91; Acts 2
Today's scripture focus is Ephesians 6:18

Ephesians 6:18

English Standard Version (ESV)
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Accompanying David Legge sermons: Constant Prayer, Varied Prayer, and Spirit-Led Supplication
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: The Armor of God: Praying at All Times

The first 3 words of v18 are praying at all times.  We need to pray continually.  Our spiritual battle depends on prayer.  A suit of armor is useless without anything to energize it.  Prayer is essential to the spiritual battle that is life.  We need to be praying constantly.  Not just in emergencies.  Not just when we need something.  We need to pray for everything.  Legge made the comment that you are only as strong as your prayer life.  Did that prick anyone's conscience as much as it did mine?

Now, obviously we can't audibly pray continuously.  We have to work, eat, sleep, etc.  But we can have an attitude of prayer, a constant communion with God.   We can live in such a way that we are filtering everything through, as MacArthur coined it, God-colored glasses.  It's a God-consciousness that has you sorrowing over the state of the world, struggling against sin, all as you eagerly anticipate the coming of God's ultimate victory and the glory that will finally be His.

Note that we are supposed to pray with all prayer.

MacArthur: What does that mean? All kinds of prayers. You pray all the time. You pray all kinds of prayers...public, private, verbal, silent, loud, soft, deliberate, planned, unplanned, spontaneous, requests, thanks, confession, humiliation, praise, standing, kneeling, lying down, lifting up your hands, putting your hands name it. Every kind of prayer expressive of every emotional attitude of every kind of thinking and every kind of circumstance, that’s the idea.

Legge's list of prayers include prayers of praise, confessions, waiting upon the Lord to feel His prescence, praying the scriptures, interceding on behalf of others, singing, and listening.

We also need to have perseverance in our prayers.  We need to be specific in our requests (not just "God bless the whole world"), and we need to be committed to praying persistently, until we've received the answer.

Do we pray that way?  I know I sure have work to do in this area.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Ephesians 6:18-20
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Samuel 17-18, Psalm 92, Acts 3

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