In my quiet time lately…
I have been studying the prayers of Paul that he recorded in his epistles in the New Testament. These prayers have always intrigued me, and I have used them from time to time in my prayer life. But I had never studied them very closely. As I have been working my way through these different prayers, memorizing them and meditating on them, it has greatly enriched my prayer life. And through the study, the Lord has brought several things to my attention.
#1—My prayer life is basically pretty shallow.
Most of my prayer time revolves around material, physical, and relationship issues with some spiritual. The prayers of Paul recorded in the New Testament are all dealing with spiritual matters.
“That ye may know what is the hope of his calling.”
“That ye might be strengthened with might be his Spirit in the inner man.”
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.”
“That ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.”
“That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you.”
(2 Thessalonians 1:12)
“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual.”
(Philemon verse 6)
It is not wrong to pray about the other things—the material, the health, the physical, or the relationship issues. In fact, we are commanded to pray about everything. We are commanded to bring our burdens to the Lord. But I have been challenged through this study to focus more on the spiritual needs of others and of myself and make these more prominent in my prayers.
#2—God desires for me to grow as a Christian.
In each of the prayers of Paul that are recorded, his one major theme was that the Christians he was writing to would grow in their Christian life and would glorify the Lord.
“That ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened.”
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.”
“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ.”
“Being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
Growth in my Christian life comes through knowing more and more about God. As I read and study the Word of God and learn more about God, my faith increases and I grow in my walk with the Lord. Which brings me to the third thought…
#3—It really is all about Him!
Why do I need to grow in my Christian life? So I can glorify Him!!
“And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.”
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.”
“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
“Unto the glory and praise of God.”
“That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him.”
(2 Thessalonians 1:12)
Everything I have comes from Him—my salvation, my joy, my strength, my life, my peace, my faith, my hope, my righteousness, etc. SO why would I not want to serve Him, to please Him, to worship Him, and to point others to Him? It is not about me—although that is where my focus sometimes gets stuck. I need to turn my focus to Him and seek to glorify Him with my life.