Class Notes: 4/13/2008
Col 4:2-6 Eph 6:18-19 Paul's prayer for believers and the mandate for believers to pray
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We are continuing in our study of prayer as part of the PPOG or the Predestination provided by God for the believer in eternity past for the purpose of determining just how and what we should pray for as we function in his plan for our lives.
At the moment we are examining Paul's prayers and we have seen in our study of his prayers in Eph 1:18; Eph 3:14; Phil 1:3; and Col 1:9; that the focus of his prayer was for believers to appropriate by Grace the spiritual resources that God has provided and be enlightened, empowered and enabled to advance in God's predetermined plan for their lives.
We are presently looking at Paul’s prayer, his mandate, his petition and his request for prayer support through believer's intercession that is recorded in Col 4:2-6;
We concluded last time with the" seasoning of salt" being used as an analogy for the believer's speech being "seasoned with Grace" because of their Grace Orientation.
Jesus' words were filled with Grace Lk. 4:22; and he is described as being the personification of "Grace and Truth" John 1:14;
Col 4:5;b When believer's are filled with wisdom and understanding from their PMA of Bible Doctrine and devoted to prayer for sensitivity regarding the timing of God they are able to make the most of the opportunities God provides to them and to "buy back" the time with the Gospel of Grace.
Col 4:6b;"so that you may know how you should respond to each person.”
Peter describes believers as being prepared to speak in a similar way in 1 Pet. 3:15;
The opportunity for believers to witness comes down to specific individuals whom God brings into every believer's path as part of his predetermined plan, and the believer’s words can be effective when they are prepared and as a result have the right words to say in the right way at the right time. Prov 25:7; Prov 15:23;
Col 4:2-6; Some Principles that come from this passage regarding prayer:
There is a mandate to believers for devotion in prayer, we have seen that the Greek word "proskartero" translated "devoted" is in the imperative mood.
This is a mandate for believers in prayer to be steady, attentive and diligent, to focus with undivided attention and with relaxation and confidence.
Prayer is not only going to the Lord to "speak" but also going to the Lord to "listen," which requires the believer's concentration.
As believers pray, God the Holy Spirit speaks to them via their recall of Bible Doctrine that is the thinking of TLJC.
For this to occur, the believer must be to be wide-awake and watchful in prayer.
Believer's prayers are to be offered with an attitude of Thanksgiving recognizing the everything they have is courtesy of the Grace of God. James 1:17; and that TLJC controls history Col 1:17;
Believers are to examine themselves regarding what they are doing in their prayers to support the Gospel and Bible Doctrine as it is being presented.
Do they regularly intercede for those with the spiritual gifts for communication as they function in their gift, for pastors, evangelists, Bible study teachers, missionaries, and for fellow believers as they interact with people on a daily basis.
Are we asking God to bless the messages as they are presented on the radio or internet or in books or other media? Are we doing it consistently or just once in a while in a sporadic manner?
When we do pray for the message, do we pray in hazy generalities or with specificity? We can pray about specific details regarding how we think God could open a door for the Gospel in our lives, for the courage to speak clearly and boldly when the opportunity is presented and for fearlessness and the strength to to face whatever opposition there may be and for God's protection from the opposition.
Since wisdom is so vital as we re-present TLJC and witness of him, we need to be taking the time to be filled with wisdom and understanding from God’s Word through consistent and persistent PMA of Bible Doctrine.
God the Holy Spirit is our helper our prayer Rom 8:26-27; in order for his enablement to work, we must be certain that we are filled with the spirit while praying. 1John 1:9; this will cause us to be in alignment with God's will and sensitive to his ministry as he leads us.
Paul, who is most likely the greatest believer in the church age, was very aware of his need for prayer support for his re-presentation of TLJC and his witnessing. Believers following his example should likewise be enlisting prayer support of others for their re-presentation of TLJC and witnessing. Phil 3:17;
We will now look at Paul's prayer in Eph 6:17-18; which is very similar to his prayer in Col 4:2-6;
This prayer is presented In the context of the God’s provision of the implements of spiritual warfare for the believer.
Eph 6:18; begins with the words “through means of all prayer and petition praying” Paul’s exhortation is for believers to be strong in God and his power Eph 6:10; and the six components of the soldier’s armor described in the context define the aspects of that power that believers are to deploy as they live in the reality of this power Eph 6:14–17; this accomplished “in or by means of the Spirit” and with “prayer and petition in view”
There is a natural connection between God’s Word as “the sword of the Spirit,” the weapon that the Spirit wields in his mentorship of believers, and the believer’s prayer which is offered “in or by means of the Spirit.”
God the Holy Spirit enables the believer’s PMA of Bible Doctrine and their prayer. When believers are “filled by means of the Spirit” as a result of their acknowledgement of any known sin and subsequent function inside the PPOG for their lives by means of the application of Bible Doctrine (Faith).
This lifestyle of being “Spirit-filled” results in the believer having Spirit-led prayer and of giving God thanks at all times Eph 5:18–20; The” Spirit-filled life” produces the same blessings as the Word-filled life describe in Col 3:16;
The Power options of the Filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine and prayer are synergistic. Eph 1:19; Eph 3:16;
The believer’s enablement and empowerment in God's power system Eph 6:11; Eph 3:18-19; is connected with answered prayer.
Bible Doctrine Eph 6:17;b and prayer Eph 6:18; function in close association John 15:7; Eph 1:17-18; Eph 5:19-20; Col 1:9; because to be answered the believer's prayer must be according to the word’s of TLJC which is Bible Doctrine.
Prayer is always relevant to believers who having been clothed by God with the spiritual armor are making their stand and holding the ground that God has assigned to them in their spiritual battle. Eph 6:18; Phil 4:6; 1Thes 5:17;
Prayer “in or by means of the Spirit” Eph 6:18; is consistent with the believers’ access to God by means of the Spirit Eph 2:18; which is necessary for all aspects of the believer’s spiritual life and in their spiritual warfare at all times.
Just as prayer is consistent with the believer’s function as a Christian soldier it is also consistent with the fact that believer's are His spiritual temple, and are the dwelling of God Eph 2:22; John 17:20-23;
Just as the temple in Israel was to be a “house of prayer” in the dispensation of Israel Isa 56:7; and the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union Matt. 21:13; God now dwells in every believer. The church, which is composed of those believers is the corporate body of TLJC and is also to be a house of prayer. Acts 12:5;
It is necessary for soldiers in battle to communicate with their leader who provides them the resources and instructions regarding how to engage in the battle. Prayer is the believer’s communication with God for that purpose.
The entire book of Ephesians addresses the power of God as it is made available and operational in the believer's life in his Predetermined Plan. Paul’s example in prayer and in the spiritual warfare in which he himself engaged is an example for believers who are also engaged in that same spiritual battle
Just as he was in need of prayer so are we and all other believers as we engage in the PPOG for our life and in our own venues that God provides for the re-presentation and witness of TLJC in the Kosmos.
Eph 6:18; The prayer to which Paul is calling believers to is described by the word “all.” Which is repeated 4 times in verse 18.
The word translated “with” in the NASB is the Greek word “dia’ and in this context it would be better translated as “through” or “by means of”
“Through or by means of all prayer and petition” or “in every prayer and petition”. The idea is, that in every prayer regardless of it’s specific purpose or focus which could be praise, thanksgiving, acknowledging sins, petitioning, interceding, any form of communication that we may have with our Commander in the battle, just as our Lord did with the Father during the Dispensation of his Unglorified Humanity. John 11:41-42;
Eph 6:18b;“Pray at all times”. The Bible is filled with examples of prayer at all conceivable times. There are examples of people praying in the evening, morning and at noon Ps. 55:17, seven times a day Ps. 119:164, midnight Psa 119:62; before dawn Psa 119:147; Mk. 1:35, day and night Psa 22:2; 1 Thess. 3:10, all night Lk. 6:12, at frequent intervals Lk. 5:16.
“Pray at all times in the Spirit” Prayer in or by means of the spirit is the only way prayer will be answered. The only prayer that will be answered apart from the filling of God the Holy Spirit is the acknowledgement of sin in the rebound prayer where the believer recovers the filling of the Spirit.
“be on the alert with all perseverance”. Here we have the Greek word “agrupneo” translated as “being on the alert.” And the Greek word “proskarterēsis" translated as perseverance.
Its idea is to keep awake, with a watchful awareness and sensitivity.
When believers are praying they are to be keenly awake and aware and be ready for God to bring to mind his response in their thinking and lead them in what they ask for in their prayer.
This alertness is to be maintained with endurance or perseverance as the requests are presented to God.
"and petition for all the saints” In this passage, Paul describes fellow believers (The Bible refers to all believers as saints) as the object of the prayer requests. In 1Tim 2:1-4;requests are made on behalf lf all men.
The idea is for believers to pray for anyone whom the Holy Spirit leads them to be aware of. This is why it is necessary to be alert and persistent in prayer. God will actually bring individuals to mind as believers are praying and if they are alert and persistent they will be able to follow the lead of God the Holy Spirit.
It is God who is building up church, the corporate body of TLJC, and causing the various parts of it to be built up Eph 4:16;
The believer’s persistent prayers for other believers who are part of the body to be built up demonstrates their faith and their positive volition to God's word and his mandate for believer's prayer enabling God to deploy his power from eternity into time in greater measure.
Remember, mankind’s faith and positive volition are issues in the Angelic Conflict.
During this time of probation on this earth in time, God has decreed to deploy his omnipotence according to approval his righteousness and justice that is satisfied by the positive volition of man toward the person and the thinking of TLJC.
Omnipotent God can do anything he chooses to do, but because he is also Righteous and Just he may not choose do all that he can do.
What the righteousness of God demands the Justice of God executes via the Love and Grace of God, but what the righteousness of God does not demand does not get executed.
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