Today I will attempt to bring to an end my teachings on the prayers of Paul, a series which started close to two months now and one in particular that I never knew will last this long at the initial stage when I set out to write this. The purpose of this series is clear, to bring to our knowledge the prayer contents of the life of the greatest messenger of the gospel of Jesus to have ever walked the face of the earth. And this is done with the intent that we might follow in the footsteps of Paul, pray the same prayers and possibly obtain greater results than Paul did! Even Paul enjoined in 1 Corinthians 11:1 to follow after him even as he followed after the Lord. And Hebrews 6:12 advised us to be 'followers of them who through faith and patience' obtained the promises! Whatever they obtained is what we obtain when we spiritually pattern our lives after the fathers of faith who have gone ahead of us!
Paul set an example of a ceaseless intercessor that moved the hand of God for various interventions! We can be like him and move the hand of God over our generation for various interventions in every strata and facet of our lives, human endeavors and developments! All it takes is spiritual doggedness and commitment to see God's will done and His kingdom expressed on the earth! We can't be like Paul except we pray like Paul!
OTHER THINGS PAUL PRAYED FOR
We have seen many spiritual themes that Paul prayed for ranging from godliness to strength to grace and others that I have mentioned. What time won't permit me to mention now is how he prayed for other prayer themes such as for
*ministerial opportunities to abound for him - Romans 1:9-11, Romans 15:30-31, Ephesians 6:19, Colossians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 3:10, 2 Thessalonians 3:1
*Hope - Romans 15:13
*fullness of God - Ephesians 3:17-19
These amidst many other prayer themes are what Paul prayed for
However one other prayer theme he prayed for that I will love to use to end this series of teaching was his prayer for ABUNDANCE OF LOVE AND UNITY! Here we these prayers set out in the Epistles.
Philippians 1:9, "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;"
When our love abounds we will be able to prove what is excellent, live with sincerity and free of offense before all! Hallelujah!
Again in 1 Thessalonians 3:12 he said, "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you" (Also 2 Thessalonians 3:5)
Love and unity will bring the church into the fullness of God and the highest manifestation and experience of his power and glory on the earth.
And wherever we found love it naturally produces the fruits of UNITY. Paul prayed for the unity of the church in Romans 15:5-6, "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"
Love and unity will bring the church into the fullness of God and the highest manifestation and experience of his power and glory on the earth. Remember in Ephesians 3:15-20 where Paul prayed that we might know the love of God so that we can experience his fullness! This is what the church needs now more than ever!
It is no coincidence that when Jesus prayed for the church just before he left the world the one thing he asked for is so that we may be one! John 17:19-20 records, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me
In other words, Jesus was saying that our credibility in the world will be determined by our affinity for one another! The love of God in our heart is our greatest witness on the earth! Love in the church is the greatest witness to the world! This is why time and again the devil always goes after the love and unity of the church. Unction cannot be released where there is division. This was the scenario in Acts 6 when a great division occurs in the administration of the church! But as soon as the church was able to put that behind the power of God exploded as the church exploded too!
The spiritual unity of the church determines her spiritual invincibility and progress on the earth!
Psalm 133:1-3 tells us as long as we are united we will be anointed! And this scripture practically played out in Acts 4:24-31 where the bible says they lifted up their 'voice', just one voice. And as they did God poured out his anointing, his blessing, over the church!
I believe strongly in my heart that unity of purpose is what we facilitate the greatest move of God on the earth! For really the church doesn't need to agree in doctrines as it needs to agree on purpose! This is why Paul said it doesn't matter whether you are of Cephas, or Apollos or of Paul, what matters is that Christ is preached!
Paul observed this in 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now, this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
In other words, it doesn't matter who baptized you, it doesn't matter which church you worship for all are baptized and worship in the name of one: JESUS CHRIST our Lord. And ultimately that's what counts!
One thing must occupy our mind as the church and that we must strive to do every day irrespective of our denominational leaning, and that is Christ must be preached in all the ends of the earth, and that this kingdom of the world must become the kingdom of our God! This should be what unite us in heart, mind, and purpose. It must be our lifelong pursuit as the church of Jesus Christ! This must be our dedication and lifelong calling and commitment.
Like Paul prayed we also pray that the love of Christ will be shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit and that we 'may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ' on the earth! Amen!