And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Prayers of the Heart Ephesians 3: 14-21

For those interested, below are the notes from the sermon yesterday at Ekron Baptist Church.
They are in rough form, but contain enough information to jog your memory.

Prayers of the Heart Ephesians 3: 14-21

Paul bows his knees.
            More a heart position than a physical position.
            How do we address God?
                        We address God  based on two understandings.
·         What we know and believe about God
·         What we know and believe about ourselves

Think of Paul’s position, as a prisoner, yet praying for others.

Being one who intercedes for others he is not shy of telling them that he prays for them.
·         This encourages those whom you pray for.
·         It hold us accountable in prayer.
·         It gives us a chance for a rapport on the activity of God.
·         It leads to worship.  It is part of worship.
·         It opens prayer for and with one another.
·         It adds perspective on the relationships between each person.

His prayer is deliberate.
            Formal vs Casual
We can err on two extremes

Formal prayer- tends to focus on the right words.  It is fretful with constructs, methods, and being correct in all it says and does.  It treats God as someone who is distant.

Casual prayer- treats God like a common buddy. Lacks depth of thought.  Often is glib, forgetting the promises of God and our duty to God.

Prayer should be treated as a privilege to provide on someone else’s behalf. 
Prayer is a joy to seek out a holy loving God in order to express your love for someone in order to see their life grow even further.
·         It supports the weak.
·         It seeks holiness for all.
·         Prayer of this nature has great confidence in God, little in the flesh, but great hope for the future.
·         This prayer longs to have eyes to see and be awed by the working of God in His providence.
·         Prayer has a dependence upon God rather than on methods.

We can gather that his deliberate prayer is not once and a while, but persevering and repetitive.
Deliberate prayer takes its role seriously and believes it is essential to see God at work.

What does Paul pray for?
            Not himself.  He prays for the inner man of the Ephesians.
He prays for the things of the Heavenly Kingdom, the things spiritual, not physical.
            Too often we are caught up praying with our eyes on the world we can see, touch, taste, and experience.  But this world is not our home.  In prayer our eyes ought to be on the eternal.  We should be most concerned with the spiritual nature of man.
            Mind you, we do, can, and should pray for the physical.  But if that is all we pray for it seems that there is thus a lack of the spiritual in our lives. 
            What you pray about reveals the desires of your heart.
            An evaluation needs to be made.
·         How often do you pray?
·         How do you approach God, is it with bended knees of the heart?
·         What types of words do you use, formal or casual?
·         What is your concern in prayer?
·         Do you pray for sanctification?
·         Do you pray for things of the flesh?
·         Do you seek out the Heavenly promises?
·         Do you pray for your enemies?
·         Do you pray till the Spirit moves?
·         Do yu keep your eyes open afterwards to see the Hand of God move?
·         Do you use answered prayer to worship?
Paul prays that they would pray like him.  Thus he sets an example.

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