No one wields spiritual power without spiritual consistency! This is why prayers for Paul was not a need-meeting spiritual medium only use when we are in trouble but a spiritual lifestyle of making a spiritual investment that culminates in the supernatural explosion of Gods power and blessings over our lives! Paul's habitual and consistent lifestyle of prayer prompted his advice in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to 'pray without ceasing'.
If you have followed this series from the beginning you would have seen prayer as the lifestyle of this great apostle. The habitual and the consistent lifestyle of Paul's prayer life should serve as a spiritual recipe for power to the modern day believer!
He said in Galatians 6:8, "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting'. One of the ways we sow, make the spiritual investment, is through prayers! Consistent spiritual investment in prayers will bring unusual spiritual returns - an explosion in God's power and blessings! How many want to sign up for that lifestyle today? We all should.
The habitual and the consistent lifestyle of Paul's prayer life should serve as a spiritual recipe for power to the modern day believer!
Now if we go through Paul's prayers we will see another nature and character of his prayers. We look at a few of them. I will use the same scriptures I use in the installment of this series that shows Paul as a thanksgiver. Now, look at them here.
Ephesians 1:15-16 "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you making mention of you in my prayers'
Colossians 1:3, "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you’
1 Thessalonians 1:2, "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers'
What is or are the common pattern in all of these scriptures? “Making mention of you in our prayers". A large portion of Paul's prayer for the church was of thanksgiving and intercession, all three scriptures contained both. Paul must have been following the Lord's pattern for prayer. Matthew 6:9-10 Jesus said to pray this way, "...Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven"
First, we hallow his name, which talks of thanksgiving, praise, and adoration, and then we pray for his kingdom to come!
In prayers the first order of business is thanksgiving and intercession!
In prayers the first order of business is thanksgiving and intercession! And Paul having demonstrated this over and again then advises us in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 on how to pray.
"I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Paul said first of all intercessions and thanksgiving must go hand in hand when we pray for all men, those in leadership and especially for men who are yet to be saved for it will be God's great delight to see souls added to his kingdom!
Jesus and Paul's prayer pattern seems different from ours today, we move from Thanksgiving to personal petitions omitting intercession along the way! We just want things all for ourselves! The spirit of consumer Christianity is fast driving away intercession from our prayer routine and schedules! The spirit which says, 'its all about my personal provisions please forget intercessions". This is the self-serving spirit that brings us to the altar of prayer thinking only about ourselves. But we must be like Paul by putting first things first: intercession and thanksgiving!
To be continued