Pray: Part Three

As believers in Jesus Christ, when we pray, we should lift our hearts up to our Father in heaven, seeking those things that are dear to His heart.  One of the most important requests we can make is modeled in the godly prayers of the apostle Paul.  Paul’s heart cried in unison with his Father’s heart, beseeching His favor for the love of their hearts.  We see the record of Paul’s prayer for this beloved one in Ephesians chapter three.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;  (9)  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  (10)  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,  (11)  According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:  (12)  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.  (13)  Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.  (14)  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  (15)  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,  (16)  That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;  (17)  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  (18)  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  (19)  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.  (20)  Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  (21)  Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  Ephesians 3:8-21 

The glory of God should always be our goal, the edification of the church, of fellow believers should be the constant cry of our hearts.  Throughout the epistles Paul prays for his beloved brethren, because that is God’s will, the edification of His people through His work in them through His Son Jesus Christ.  Praying for Christ’s work in His people by the Holy Spirit displays the manifold wisdom of God through His redeemed children to all.  As Christ dwells in our hearts through faith we can be encouraged in the overwhelming love of our God and Savior.  Through the love of Christ residing within we can be filled with the fullness of God Who is well able to establish us in His love because of His great power at work within us.  Beloved brethren, God’s will is that we pray for the mutual edification of one another through the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling each one of us.  When we pray for our brethren to be established in the love of Christ we pray for God’s earnest desire for each one of us.  We can also see God’s desire for His people through the prayer of Christ for His beloved children in John chapter seventeen.

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee:  (2)  As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.  (3)  And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.  (4)  I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.  (5)  And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.  (6)  I have manifested Thy name unto the men which thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word.  (7)  Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee.  (8)  For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.  (9)  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.  (10)  And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them.  (11)  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.  1 John 17:1-11

Just like the apostles, everyone who comes to Christ has been given to Him by the Father.  We belong to Jesus Christ because we belong to the Father and He has given us to Him.  As His beloved children we keep God’s Word, know that Jesus Christ came from the Father to this earth to do His will, which is to save sinners, and that God specifically equipped Jesus Christ for the work that He gave Him to do.  The salvation that He has wrought for us is the ground upon which we can be one with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  The work that Jesus Christ completed is that perfect work of salvation that saves us from the devil, sin, death, wickedness, and God’s wrath.  We are set apart for God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is our privilege to pray for one another, and indeed the entire Body of Christ, to be built up on our most holy faith so that Christ may dwell in our hearts and we may glorify our Father in heaven.  It is our blessing to pray that our beloved brethren would keep God’s Word for their blessing.

(14)  I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  (15)  I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  (16)  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  (17)  Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.  (18)  As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  (19)  And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  (20)  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word;  (21)  That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.  (22)  And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one:  (23)  I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.  (24)  Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.  (25)  O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me.  (26)  And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.   John 17:14-26 

We must pray for our beloved brethren to be established in the truth of the Word of God, for edification, sanctification, and union with God our Father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and one another.  We live in terrible times where the Word of God is replaced with the empty lies of fallen man.  Our beloved brothers and sisters are being misled by the devil and missing out on the glory of drawing near to Jesus Christ and to one another.  May we with humble hearts cry out to our heavenly Father His heart’s cry, that we would all be united in Him through faith in Jesus Christ, obedience to the Word of God, the Bible, and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  May we beseech the God of heaven and earth to turn the hearts of His children from the fallen distractions of this wicked world, back to the rich resources of fellowship with Him through prayerful obedience to Him.  Amen!

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.  (2)  For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.  (3)  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:  (4)  That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor;  (5)  Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:  (6)  That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.  (7)  For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.  (8)  He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit.  (9)  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.  (10)  And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 1Thessalonians 4:1-10 

Lord Jesus Christ may we with fervent hearts filled with love and pity for one another cry out to our Father in heaven for the edification, sanctification and unification of our brothers and sisters for Your glory and praise, Amen!

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  (10)  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians 1:9-10 

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