Like many Christians, each day I begin with the spiritual ritual of a personal “devotion time” with the Lord. To me, it is giving my Maker the first and best of each day He has given me. This is a time of offering myself to the One who gave me life: a kairos moment of dedication and consecration; positioning myself to listen, hear and obey; to know Him and be used by Him.
Most of the time I follow a particular pattern in prayer, adopted from prayers of the Apostle Paul, which he prayed for the saints. We find these prayers recorded in his letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. These prayers represent the priorities of God in my life. I am asking Him to do what I know He desires to do. By faith, I receive the answers.
Lord, being in Your presence, I am consumed with…
Knowing You is the essence of eternal life (Jn.17:3). The knowledge of God is inexhaustible. There is always more to learn of Him.
Paul prayed, “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him”(Ep.1). He asked that the saints be ever “increasing in the knowledge of God” (Co.1).
I want to know you, Lord. I want to enjoy You as You have revealed Yourself to Me and imitate You with my life.
Love is the grandest imitation of God (Ep.5:1). Love is the starting point for our obedience to Him. It is the “new commandment” – the fulfillment of all the law.
Paul prayed that “[our] love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment” (Ph.1). That “being rooted and grounded in love, [we] may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ep.3).
Father, Your love is poured out in my heart by the Holy Spirit (Rm.5:5). I position myself to be ruled and moved by your love this day.
Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (Jn.4:34). God has a purpose for my life and specific works assigned for me to do. I want to know.
Paul prayed that believers will “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Co.1) His companion and co-worker, Epaphras, God’s faithful servant and prayer warrior for the churches in Colossae, prayed continually, that “[they] may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God” (Co.4).
I don’t want to be ignorant but know what Your will is for my life and for this day.
Jesus declared, “I always do the things that are pleasing to [My Father]” (Jn.8:29). I am created for His pleasure (Rv.4:11); His own Special Treasure. He is working in me, giving me the desire and the power to do what pleases Him (Ph.2:13). I want to yield to Your work in me.
Like Paul, I pray that I will “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects” (Co.1). The NIV translation expresses this way: “[I] may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way.” I also like the Amplified Bible rendering: “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [displaying admirable character, moral courage, and personal integrity], to [fully] please Him in all things.” Going further, Paul prayed, “[We will] bear fruit in every good work” (Co.1) and “[be] sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Ph.1).”
Lord, I posture myself in prayer for a life that pleases You: blameless and bearing fruit.
Because I can not live in a manner that pleases God in my own ability, I need His supernatural help. And He wants to give it to me.
Paul prayed that believers would be “strengthened with all power, according to [God’s] glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously” (Ph.1). He asks that we would know, “his incomparably great power for us who believe… the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ep.1) NIV.
I need your power to persevere through all tests and trials, and endure with people who are contrary. And to do it with joy!
Persevere for Your people and all people
Prayer is not consumed only with my life and my needs. Prayer is intended to be turned outward for all people.
Paul exhorts us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” Ep.6:18 NIV.
Make all kinds of prayer, for all kinds of people, all of the time. In the Holy Spirit we have a great prayer Helper and the ability to go beyond all limits. When I pray for others as led by the Holy Spirit and in the Spirit, I know I am always praying the perfect will of God (Rm.8:26).
The prayers of Paul recorded in the scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit. They are perfect prayers preserved for us who will follow the pattern. I hope you will use these principles to take your prayer life to a deeper, higher place and more fulfilling place.