“Pray for One Another”
January 3, 2016
In my freshman year in college, I began to grow significantly in my spiritual life. One part of that growth was that I began attending a Wednesday evening Bible study — and part of that study was a prayer time with other men in the church body.
It was a pretty typical kind of prayer meeting — someone would take prayer requests, write them on the blackboard, and then we’d pray. I remember listening to these old and wise men (they must have been at least 40 years old!) praying and feeling the urge to pray myself — and being TERRIFIED to pray. But being convinced I needed to, I did pray. My heart was pounding so hard I thought every man in the room must have heard it beating! I remember very little else about those meetings other than it seemed everyone else prayed with ease and I prayed with nervousness, fear, and reluctance.
That is one of the common experiences for every believer as he learns to pray aloud and in public. Learning to pray is difficult, but it is necessary to pray. Prayer is a matter of obedience for the believer. Jesus commanded us to pray and gave us a pattern to pray — “Pray, then, in this way…” (Mt. 6:9a). And the NT not only models what prayer looks like (e.g., Paul’s opening prayers in his letters), but also commands us to pray (Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17) and even assumes that we will pray (e.g., Acts 2:42).
Beginning last week and through the next two Sundays, I want to consider with you some essential elements of the Christian life — our commitment to spiritual disciplines, if you will. Last week we talked about the Scriptures and how God has designed the intake of Scripture to give us comfort and hope. This week, we will consider the role of prayer in our lives — what are the attributes of a growing prayer life? To accomplish that goal, I want to consider with you Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. As we examine this passage we will find that Paul exhorts us —
Because of your salvation, pray for one another.
Here, in the model of God’s prayer, are four attributes of a faithful, growing prayer life:
- Our Foundation in Prayer: Fellowship with the Father (vv. 14-15)
- Our Requests in Prayer (vv. 16-19)
- To be strengthened by the Spirit (vv. 16-17a)
- To be grounded in love (vv. 17b-18)
- To be filled with God’s fullness (v. 19)
- Our Confidence in Prayer: God is Able (v. 20)
- Our Purpose in Prayer: God’s Glory (v. 21)
Download the rest of this sermon from Ephesians 3:14-21.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.