Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Assessing Our Prayer Lives

EPHESIANS 1:15-21 – For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked 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 above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

Let’s do a quick assessment of our prayer lives with two questions pointed to today’s scripture. The first question is safe, not probing deep inside our spiritual condition based on our prayer lives, because it is just an outside observation requiring little thought or personal application-“What is today’s nugget scripture?” Really easy answer. It is a prayer from the Apostle Paul. In fact, it is one of the most profound prayers we find in the Bible. Now the second quick assessment of our prayer lives based on today’s scripture, and this one penetrates the mind, heart, and life–“Do we pray like the Apostle Paul?” If not, let’s learn from his model a more Bible-shaped prayer life pleasing to the Lord and effectual in our lives.

First, true prayer is relational and that with the Holy Trinity. Every member of the Holy Trinity– Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are present in the Apostle’s prayer. This is an important lesson because everything about the Christian life from start to finish is Trinitarian. For instance, salvation was planned by God the Father, provided for by God the Son, and applied by God the Holy Spirit. And the working out of salvation is also Trinitarian. In today’s scripture, Paul prayers to the Father for Him to give us spiritual illumination of what we have in the Son through the Spirit. Learn to think, pray and live in awareness and fellowship with the Trinity. That defines all of the Christian life.

Next, true prayer focuses more on the spiritual and eternal than the physical and temporary. How many petitions does Paul offer on behalf of the Ephesians that are in the physical realm? Zero. He is praying for spiritual maturity. He is praying for them to know God more, experience His power greater, and have hearts and minds fixed in heaven. Now, what about us? Assess the petitions and direction we pray. Are they more earthbound or heaven oriented?

It has been said, the greatest barometer to measure our spiritual condition is our prayer lives. That might be true and the best place to get a good reading would be this prayer of the Apostle Paul!

PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for giving me in Yourself, Your Son, Your Spirit, and Your Word all I need for godly living.”
QUOTE: “God’s provisions for the Christian life are complete as found in the Father, Son, and Spirit.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim