Cultivating the Inner Life, Part 2: Prayer
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” - Eph. 6:18 (NLT)
We are back with Part 2 of Cultivating the Inner Life. In Part 1, we spoke about the importance of persistent prayer and learned a few tips from our Brother Lawrence. Today we will learn how we are to pray and for whom we should pray for. So buckle in, open your hearts and let’s see what Father has for us today!
In Ephesians 6, Paul is ending his letter to the church in Ephesus and exhorting them to “put on the full armor of God” to fight against the Adversary, Satan. This armor is supernatural and is used to fight not against flesh and blood, but against “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” After Paul gives us a pretty detailed list of spiritual weapons that we all need as the Good and Faithful, he hones in on something very important to our strategy in spiritual warfare: prayer. If you take a look throughout Ephesians you realize that the theme of prayer is prevalent and has been the anchor of unity, strength, and peace for believers.
As we come to the end of Ephesians Paul tells us to, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” To grasp the totality of what the Apostle Paul is saying we will take a closer look at two keywords in this verse: believers and times.
The words “believers”, or “saints”, come from the Greek word hagios which means holy, sanctuary. The term holy is meant to signify that which is separated from the rest. In other words, believers are uniquely and specifically separated from the rest of the world. The Apostle Peter tells us that we are a “chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession”. The Good and Faithful are God’s very own possession. Isn’t that amazing?
Now, the word “times” originates from the Greek word kairos which is defined as time, season, or opportunity. In Ephesians 6:18, Paul tells the church to pray at all times, every season, and any opportunity they get to do so. That seems a bit excessive, right? But it isn't. Paul is exhorting the church to pray in the Spirit at every opportunity on every occasion for all those who God has made His own possession. Believers are to be alert, watching for the attack of Satan against those they call brother and sister in the body of Christ. Prayer is not just a “one-a-day” prescription to check the box. It signifies the connection that the Good and Faithful have with their Father.
So, Pastor Charles, what am I to do next? How can I apply this to my life? I am so glad you asked. Here are three steps to take to apply what we have learned as the Good and Faithful:
Make prayer a habit- We already learned in Part 1 that we should pray without ceasing. We have also learned from The Good and Faithful Show that prayer could simply be saying, “Thank you, Jesus”. Let’s combine this concept and practice speaking to the Father often throughout our day. This can be when you get up from sitting down. Perhaps, it is when you go to the restroom. Maybe, it is when you go to the fridge to grab a cool drink. Take every opportunity to visit your Father in the prayer closet of your heart. He hears you and enjoys being with you.
Pray in different ways in the Spirit- Paul instructed us to pray on every occasion. In other words, you can pray privately or publicly with other believers. You can do intercessory prayer or even prayers of supplication. You can pray a prayer of confession or even one of praise and thanksgiving. Whatever way the Holy Spirit moves you to pray, follow Him. As our Guide, He knows what we need and what to say even when we do not.
Pray for all believers- Paul instructs the believers at Ephesus to pray for all believers everywhere. This exhortation is very important. It empowers us as the Good and Faithful to not only be concerned with our family and those in direct relationship with us. It encourages us to do away with selfishness and humbly seek the welfare of those who are also fighting against the kingdom of darkness with us. In this, we see the unity that prayer cultivates in the life of the believer.
These steps are just a few of many ways we can cultivate the inner life as believers. The more we spend time in prayer, the more we grow as the Good and Faithful. Allow me to conclude with a blessing over you as the Apostle Paul did to the Ephesian church:
Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
 Ephesians 6:13
 Ephesians 6:11
 Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-21
 1 Peter 2:9
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