Sermons on Prayer
In Ephesians 1:17-18 Paul continues his prayer for believers by asking God to give them knowledge of the “riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”
One of the priorities in our prayers for other believers is that they would know the hope to which they have been called. Hope is a confident expectation, not mere wishful thinking (Titus 1:2 and Titus 2:13). We have hope of grace, hope of eternal life, and hope of all the other promises of God. This hope enables us to live in this present world for Christ’s sake and in Christ’s power.
Our greatest need and privilege is to know God (Jeremiah 9:23-24). Paul prays for the believers, asking the Father of glory to give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. This knowledge is more than knowing facts or even understanding deep doctrinal truths. It is a relationship with the true, living God, growing in close fellowship with Him as the Holy Spirit gives us insight through the Scriptures.
Jesus commands us to pray, encourages us that our prayers will be answered, and gives us His Spirit to help us pray. But before any of those, Jesus set the example of how to pray. For Christ, prayer was a habit, and expression of His loving relationship with the Father, and a necessity in order for the work of God to be accomplished. Like Christ, let us “pray without ceasing.”
When we neglect to pray against sin and for holiness, we will give in to temptation.We must recognize that we are in danger from our strong, relentless enemy. Thankfully, God is powerful enough to help us and loving enough to deliver us from evil. Let us look to Him in prayer for triumph over sin.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven God’s sovereign will, His ultimate plan, will always prevail, but His moral will can be rejected. This petition calls us to obedience and conformity to God’s will, similar to the swift, faithful, joyful obedience of the angels. Give us this day our daily bread. This is a petition that acknowledges our dependance upon God. We are to receive our daily necessities with gratitude and use them in service to Him. In addition to daily provision, we also should seek daily pardon. Even though there is ultimately no condemnation for those who have received grace, we still sin and need to restore fellowship with God and show grace to others.
The infinitely glorious God of the universe, through grace, allows us to be His adopted children who may address Him intimately as “Father.” We hallow God’s name when we honor Him as the holy one revealed in the Scriptures. His kingdom comes not only in the future at Christ’s return, but now as God rules over creation, history, and in the hearts of those He redeems.
Prayer is a privilege, not based on or own merit, but on our redemption through the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. Prayerlessness is pushing God to the margins of our life. Praying without ceasing means being always ready to pray, as well as planning times of prayer. When we pray in Jesus’ name, we pray all that is consistent with His name and character. All kinds of prayer are valuable: praise, gratitude, repentance, lament, and petition.
Pastor Gregory shares a series of thoughts on prayer based on three different sentence prayers found in the New Testament.