Prayer is indispensably central to the fulfilling of God’s purposes for His people. This truth is passionately modeled by Paul twice in his letter to the Ephesians (1:15-23; 3:14-21). Paul’s own example adds meaning and weight to his explicit exhortation at the end of the letter:
“…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, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Eph. 6:18-20)
Beloved, in view of this, I encourage you to read The Importance of Prayer in Ephesians (also here), by Dr. James Rosscup, retired faculty member at The Master’s Seminary. This 15-page article is not a quick read – give yourself at least an hour. But it will revolutionize your prayer life, for your joy and God’s glory, if you lay hold of these powerful truths. Highlighting lessons from Paul’s two prayers for the Ephesians, Dr. Rosscup observes:
“Each intercessory labor exhibits features that Paul pled for before God. They are key items on his ‘prayer list.’ Both prayers reveal facets of paramount import for Christian living. They are also examples of how all Christians can make their prayers relevant in spiritual matters, whether for personal needs or for other Christians. The intercessions exemplify a passionate concern for spiritual progress…His burden is for them to be vitally concerned over spiritual matters. It is not for a physical relief from a broken arm, a new job, or sleep as a solution to insomnia. Though the latter burdens are also very important…the life-shaping issues that Paul makes prominent should gain the pervasive place in their prayers.”
Amen – may it be so increasingly for all of us!
Praying for you and with you, with much thankfulness,