Do you long for extraordinary spiritual power? Charles Spurgeon speaks of prayer in dramatic terms: “prayer” he said, “is the thermometer of grace”. He encourages the believer: “when you stand before God, ask much, and expect more, and believe that he is able to do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think.”. In his excellent book, The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life, the prince of preachers reminds us that prayer unleashes “extraordinary power” and seeking this power is “a pearl of great price” (Amazon).
Remember that we are commanded in the words of Ephesians 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” to constant, persistent, wakeful, and effective prayer for all the saints. (see previous post). But why does God command this? What becomes our motivation that will allow us to overcome our natural laziness in this discipline?
R.A. Torrey a man noted for his own prayer life, and who reflected on “Why God Used D. L. Moody” that the answer was that evangelists powerful prayer life gives the following encouragements for constant, persistent, wakeful, and effective prayer for all the saints:
1. Because of the Spiritual Enemy – Consider the specific context of Ephesians 6:18. The flow of thought begins in verse 12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” The believer is told “to put on “the full amour of God” etc. The Apostle concludes this section in v. 18 “with prayer”. D. Martin Lloyd Jones argues that this should be an circumstantial construction, “each piece put on with prayer”.
Much more follows, read through the following passages and reflect on their meaning. We ought to be occupied by constant, persistent, wakeful, and effective prayer for all the saints:
- Because prayer is God’s ordained way of getting things – James 4:2
- Because it is the pattern set for us – Acts 6:4 (see rom 1:9, Eph 1:15-16, col 1:9, 1 Thes 3:10, 2 Tim 1:3)
- Because we are “followers of Christ” – Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12, etc.
- Because it joins us in the ministry of the risen Lord – Heb 7:25, rom 8:34 If we are to fellowship with him it must be in his present work, intercession!
- Because it is the God’s means of our receiving mercy and increasing in grace and gaining strength in need – Heb 4:16 (be shameless in seeking these like lk 11:8)
- Because it is the way God appoints for our joy – John 16:24 esp., as prayer is fellowship with God and psalm 16:11… “some will say I have never had such joy in prayer” in reply, “have you ever spent enough time in it to actually fellowship with God?
- Because it frees us from anxiety – phil 4:6-7
- Because God has ordained prayer as the means of being given filled with the spirit (along with submitting to his word) – lk 11:13, acts 4:31, Eph 5:18 and col 3:16 is describing a repetitive action, “keep on being filled”
- Because prayer prepares us for the second coming – Luke 21:34-36
- Lastly, because of what prayer accomplishes –
- Next to bible study the biggest promoter of our spiritual growth – psalm 139:23-24, jms 1:5, 2 Cor 3:18
- Brings power to our work
- Leads to the conversion of others
- Brings blessing to the church
“Prayer” Spurgeon concludes is “a remedy of universal application”. Do you seek to be engaged every day in constant, persistent, wakeful, and effective prayer for all the saints?