(Eph 6:18) “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,
Many years ago I was asked the question, ”Can you describe in one sentence what Christian Ministry is all about?” I replied that my own overall aim in ministry is expressed in this concept. It is to get people into the kingdom of God and to get the kingdom into the people. In other words
- to evangelise [share the good news of the gospel message] so that people can hear the gospel of the claims of Christ on their lives and have the opportunity to make a commitment to Him. But it doesn’t stop there.
- It is then to encourage those people to appropriate in every aspect of their lives, all the resources they have as believers in the unsearchable Kingdom riches which are theirs in Christ.
That should be the aim of every Christian. They are to live for Christ and to live for one another. That involves praying for them so that they might know Him and might receive all the riches He has for them in His Son. We see what those riches are in Paul’s prayer in Eph 1:15-23, “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
- PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT ON ALL OCCASIONS WITH ALL KINDS OF PRAYERS AND REQUESTS.
We have looked in blog article No.455 at what it means to “pray in the Spirit”.
But it needs to be comprehensive prayer. Notice the “all” words in Eph 6:16-18. “In ALL circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish ALL the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 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.”
- “All circumstances. “ (That is, at all times.) [Kairos] is used here to denote quality of time, significant time. The other word for time is [chronos] which is used to denote the quantity of time. Every moment of time is significant for believers for He is always at work for His people. “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” Psalm 121:3-8. There will never be a time when God does not hear and respond to the prayers of His people.
- “All prayer and supplication “
- Prayer = proseuchē. This type of Prayer and petition is always addressed to God.
- Supplication = deēsis = a petition, request. Stresses praying for a need to be met.
- “Praying all times in the Spirit. “[See blog No.455].
- “Keep alert” [agrypneō]= to be sleepless, to keep awake, watch.
- “with ALL perseverance” = [proskarterēsis] = in all persistence. To continue in, and to give great care to.
- “Making supplication.” Is the same word for supplication as previously in the same verse.
- “For all the saints.” “For” = peri = about, concerning. “Saints “= hagioi= the separated ones. “All“ can mean all without distinction, not all without exception. We need to pray for all the saints without excluding some we don’t want to pray for on the grounds of something we feel towards them. God’s command is that we pray for all believers generally and for some more specifically.
The saints are holy because God chose to set them apart to be His holy people, a people of His own possession ( ! Pet 2: 10, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”) It was not because they were holy that he chose them. Rather they are holy because He chose them, and they responded to Him in faith. Salvation is by the grace of God.
2. PRAYING FOR THOSE IN LEADERSHIP.
(Eph 6:19-20) “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
We see here the necessity of humility for those in leadership. Paul was the great apostle, but he still needed and valued the prayers of others that he might fulfil God’s plan and purpose for Him.
He humbly asked the believers in Ephesus to pray for him. He was specific in what he wanted them to pray.
- “words may be given me.”
Paul wanted to speak the words the Lord gave him to share. He had already mentioned the power of the word of truth that he himself had preached, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” Eph1:13. By that same word of truth Jesus had cleansed the church, “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.” Eph 5:26. The word of God Paul described as being the sword of the Spirit, part of the armour of God believers were to wear at all times, “and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph 6:17.
- “so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.
Paul had come to know what the mystery of the gospel was, “how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ.” Eph 3:3-4.
- “fearlessly” is from [parrēsia] meaning frankness, bluntness, boldness.
- “Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” “Fearlessly” is the same word as in verse 19. Paul saw himself as an ambassador for Christ and he wanted his message to be without the restraints of fear. Fear was a possibility for anyone in Paul’s situation [chained in prison with the possibility of an imminent death.] However Paul looked beyond his present circumstances to the Lord whom he served fearlessly.
3. OUR PRAYER LIFE
As we look at our verse for discussion in this article, we need to see how we measure up in our prayer life to what Paul commanded. (Eph 6:18) “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.“
- Are we reliant on the Holy Spirit as we approach God in prayer? It is so tempting for us to simply rush into prayer knowing that the Lord’s ears are always open to hear us? But how much better it is for us to spend some time in quietness before we begin to verbalise our prayers. It allows the Lord to speak into our minds by His Holy Spirit. It means then that we become more informed in our prayers, praying about the things the Lord has placed on our hearts and in our minds.
- We need to persevere in our prayers giving the same sort of “attention” [proskarterēsis = perseverence] to it as the Roman authorities gave to the receipt of taxes, “For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.” Rom 13:6.
- Paul urged the churches in Rome and in Colossae to focus on their need to pray constantly, Rom. 12:12,”Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” AND Col. 4:2, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
The questions that remain for every believer are these, “Do we pray for all others as we should?” The Lord has commanded us to do so and they certainly need our support.
AND “Do we value others praying for us as we should?” I was quite touched recently when a few people my wife Carole and I had ministered to for a month each time on 9 occasions in Central Florida wrote to say that they still pray for me every day. It is now 10 years since we last ministered there and I was surprised and delighted that they continued to persevere in praying for Carole and me until her death in October 2019 and for me every day since then. We should really appreciate those people who are faithful intercessors and especially those who lift us up in prayer to the Lord every day.
Blog No.455. Praying For All The Saints. Ephesians 6:18. Core Teaching Stage 4 Topic 6 posted on Saturday 14 January2023