Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians 6:18’

Once again, praying for all men

November 7, 2020

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for November 7, 2020, includes a heading that encourages believers to pray and introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God. This previous blog entry certainly has application today, as we acknowledge the truth: “There is always something to pray about”:

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (New King James Version)

[Pray for All Men] Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Supplications

With these prayers, we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it. White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking, supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting the “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

Intercessions

To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge” which provides protection. (Ezekiel 22:30).

Prayers

As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion. Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” (Ephesians 6:18)


Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally, it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.” It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

________________________________________

This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

In closing, we offer the following poetic reminder of the importance of prayer:

As We Pray

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we pray always for you,

Colossians 1:3


During these dark times, we focus on the Kingdom,
Established and grounded on a sure foundation.
As we diligently pursue Godly wisdom,
New paths of this Apostolic Reformation
Unfold as the sun rises on the horizon.
Even in turbulent times, we must stay the course.
Aware of the consequences of each decision,
We look to God our Father, bountiful resource.
As we renew our minds, we are transformed and change:
With a “kingdom mindset,” we now see with new eyes.
Beyond past narrow limits, our view is long-range.
We number our days with each sunset and sunrise,
As the Word commands: pray without ceasing, night and day,
Knowing that God always fulfills His will, as we pray.

Gateway Worship offers a musical selection with the same title: “As We Pray”:

You will prosper but the weapons won’t

January 12, 2019

 

As the spiritual battle rages before us day by day, I recall a recent blog post which encouraged believers to “hold their peace,” even in the midst of the most intense and stressful situations, knowing that the Lord is fighting for us. We closed with a musical reminder that “The battle is not yours: It’s the Lord’s.” Today I recall similar words of encouragement regarding the spiritual attack that intensifies before our eyes. Isaiah 54:17 offers words to strengthen and fortify our faith:

No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
And their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD.

This verse was the inspiration for the following:

You Will Prosper, but All the Weapons Will Not

 Isaiah 54:17

According to God’s promises, you will prosper:
All your days overflow in goodness and mercy.
Indeed, you will prosper, but the weapons will not.

In every trial, you rise as more than conqueror.
Though the weapons of your warfare you cannot see.
According to God’s promises, you will prosper.

You press toward the new level, as you now enter
And leave a legacy to touch eternity.
Indeed, you will prosper, but the weapons will not.

You set yourself to remain fixed in the center
Of the will of God, striving toward your destiny.
According to God’s promises, you will prosper.

No weapon formed against you can ever alter
Your purpose or change all God has called you to be.
Indeed, you will prosper, but the weapons will not.

You rest in knowing that God’s grace is far greater than sin, for He said, “Their righteousness is of me.”
According to God’s promises, you will prosper:
Indeed, all the weapons formed against you will not.

While meditating on the verse from Isaiah, I also thought of my recently published book Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs. Chapter Four focuses on the power of prayer which I came to understand and appreciate as a prayer warrior engaged in spiritual warfare after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000. Here is an excerpt sharing some of the lessons I learned:

In his book Crafted Prayer: The Joy of Always Getting Your Prayers Answered, Bible teacher Graham Cooke, shows how to use the Scriptures to construct specific, targeted prayers, addressed to God offered individually as well as corporately. Cook maintains that crafted prayer is designed that those who pray will know “the joy of always getting your prayers answered.” The Bible offers this assurance to those who “pray the Word of God”:

Isaiah 55:11

So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing to which I sent it.

I John 5:14-15 also reminds us:

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us: 15And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Crafted prayers are like handcrafted arrows, works of art within themselves, designed to be on target consistently. Jeremiah described the nations who attacked Babylon in this way: “Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; none shall return in vain” (Jeremiah 50:9). Similarly, crafted prayers are exquisitely designed and accurately dispatched to specific targets, and they always hit the mark.

Prayer has been described as a powerful offensive weapon in the spiritual arsenal of believers. The illustration and application of crafted prayer as arrows provides a picture of how prayer can be used offensively with precision to a limited degree. In light of how modern warfare has changed as we have moved further into the 21st Century, a more precise revision of the original analogy would take us from arrows to smart-bombs released with pinpoint laser accuracy.

In an article in the LA Times, Peter Pae writes about lasers and their use in modern warfare:

The word ‘laser’ is an acronym that stands for ‘light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.’ The technology turns atomic particles into light with enough radiation to damage an object it encounters. The range and severity of the damage depend on how much power can be generated and how well the light can be focused on the target.

. . . [L]aser scientists say significant technical challenges recently have been overcome, transforming laser weapons from a laboratory project into a promising part of the U.S. arsenal. With such lasers, a fighter jet could destroy ground targets with pinpoint accuracy, significantly reducing the chance of injuring civilians.

The passage from Ephesians 6:18 also reminds believers of the power of prayer, used as an offensive weapon in the ongoing spiritual battle called life. For the Christian believer putting on the whole armor of God should apply to every situation, but this passage had particular application to my specific situation regarding cancer, especially the last verse of the passage:

Ephesians 6:18:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Finally, we recognize this truth regarding our spiritual weaponry:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV)

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Without question, prayer can be a powerful offensive and defensive weapon. We recognize that “No weapon formed against me shall prosper” as lyrics from Fred Hammond conclude our discussion:

Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs is now available wherever books are sold and online. For more details check out https://lonnelledwardjohnson.com.

We pray: God answers

May 6, 2015

James_5-16

The Verse of the Day for May 6, 2015 brings to mind the power of prayer. A published Examiner.com article on prayer is adapted as the following blog is re-posted on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe on the day before the National Day of Prayer:

In its simplest form prayer is communication with God. For the Christian believer, however, this conversation should not always lapse into a monologue of personal petitions. Brother Lawrence reminds us, prayer is a unique privilege: “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.” Indeed, prayer should be ongoing in every Christian believer. Jesus Christ declared that men ought always to pray and not to faint. The subject of prayer has been examined over the centuries, and believers today seek to more fully comprehend its amazing power.

The Bible has also revealed a number of kinds of prayer which form the bedrock of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray:

1 Timothy 2:1 introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.

  1. Supplications
    With these prayers we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it.       White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting the “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)
  2. Intercessions
    To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge” which provide protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)
  3. Prayers
    As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion. Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— ” (Ephesians 6:18)
  4. Thanksgiving
    Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.” It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.(I Thessalonians 5:18)

This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

Sometime ago I heard the story of someone who had prayed, and God answered her prayer in a most unexpectant way. A statement was made at the end of the story which inspired this poem:

We Pray—God Answers

 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray,

 believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

 Mark 11:24

We pray, asking to receive and seeking to find.

If we knock, the door shall be opened all our days,

For God answers prayer in one of three sovereign ways:

Sometimes we pray and find that the answer is “yes.”

In Christ each promise is “yes” and “amen”,

For God is not a man that He should lie.

He has already spoken—What shall we say then

But give thanks, for when we call Him, He hears each cry.

Other times we find that the answer is “not yet.”

 We need more patience so that after we have done

All the will of God, as sons we might be instilled

With confident assurance given to each one,

Set as an empty vessel, yet to be fulfilled.

Or God may say, “I have something better in mind.”

 Before we abandon hope, feeling left behind,

Though it may seem we cannot pass another test,

But if we stop and think a moment, we will find

God, our all-wise Father, really knows what is best.

The accompanying video features the song “Pray for Me” by Michael W. Smith who reminds us to pray for one another:

1 Timothy 2:1-2: Always something to pray about

November 7, 2014

8095416890_cf2bfbea29_bIn response to the Verse of the Day for November 7, 2014, I am revising and re-posting the blog entry from a year ago which introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God.

I Timothy 2:1-2:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Supplications
With these prayers we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it. White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking, supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting the “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

Intercessions
To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge,” providing protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)

Prayers
As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion. Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” (Ephesians 6:18)

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.” It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

As I was working on this blog entry, I recalled a comment from Graham Cooke, who exhorted believers to compose and pray a prayer for patience. I followed his advice and would like to share the following poem in closing:

A Prayer for Patience

“My suggestion for people in a season of birth or upgrade                                                                                      

is to write out a prayer for patience and pray it every day.”  

Graham Cooke

 

For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance,                                                                  

so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God,                                                   

and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.

Hebrews 10:36 (Amplified Bible)

I look back and pause and then look ahead to see

Clearly who God is, who He wants to be for me.

I still journey down the road less travelled by

And pray that patience may serve as a trusted ally.

I must say “No” to the pressures of this life

And say “Yes” to the rest God gives, despite the strife.

As I stay my mind on Him, I abide in peace.

When I praise God, works of the enemy decrease.

May I remain and not fall by the wayside as some

But like Job wait until at last my change shall come.

Patient endurance seems delayed for some reason,

But fruit abounds to those who wait in this season.

I pray that in this time of transition and shift

That I embrace waiting as a wonderful gift.

This  woodcarving by Elijah Pierce is called the Power of Prayer, the subject of the Verse of the Day.

This woodcarving by Elijah Pierce is called the Power of Prayer, the subject of the Verse of the Day.

Without question in the midst of the turbulent times in which we live, there is always something to pray about. Gateway Worship offer “As We Pray”, a fitting musical reminder related to the Verse of the Day.

Effectual, fervent prayer

May 6, 2014

James_5-16

The Verse of the Day for May 6, 2014 brings to mind the power of prayer. Five years ago, I published an Examiner.com article on prayer which is adapted as the following blog entry on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe.

In its simplest form prayer is communication with God. For the Christian believer, however, this conversation should not always lapse into a monologue of personal petitions. Brother Lawrence reminds us, prayer is a unique privilege: “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.” Indeed, prayer should be ongoing in every Christian believer. Jesus Christ declared that men ought always to pray and not to faint. The subject of prayer has been examined over the centuries, and believers today seek to more fully comprehend its amazing power.

The Bible has also revealed a number of kinds of prayer which form the bedrock of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray:

1 Timothy 2:1 introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.

  1. Supplications
    With these prayers we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it. White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting the “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)
  2. Intercessions
    To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge” which provide protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)
  3. Prayers
    As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion. Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— ” (Ephesians 6:18)
  4. Thanksgiving
    Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.” It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.(I Thessalonians 5:18)

This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

Sometime ago I heard the story of someone who had prayed, and God answered her prayer in a most unexpectant way. A statement was made at the end of the story which inspired this poem:

We Pray—God Answers

 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray,

 believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

 Mark 11:24

 

We pray, asking to receive and seeking to find.

If we knock, the door shall be opened all our days,

For God answers prayer in one of three sovereign ways:

 

Sometimes we pray and find that the answer is “yes.”

In Christ each promise is “yes” and “amen”,

For God is not a man that He should lie.

He has already spoken—What shall we say then

But give thanks, for when we call Him, He hears each cry.

 

 

Other times we find that the answer is “not yet.”

We need more patience so that after we have done

All the will of God, as sons we might be instilled

With confident assurance given to each one,

Set as an empty vessel, yet to be fulfilled.

 

Or God may say, “I have something better in mind.”

Before we abandon hope, feeling left behind,

Though it may seem we cannot pass another test,

But if we stop and think a moment, we will find

God, our all-wise Father, really knows what is best.

 

The accompanying video features the song “Pray for Me” by Michael W. Smith who reminds us to pray for one another.