We have so much to learn about prayer. Fortunately, God’s Word gives us an abundance of information to help us to pray.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to study and examine what Paul told the Ephesian church about prayer.
“Pray 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, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
First, prayer should be an ordinary occurrence in our lives and part of our daily rhythm. Paul told the church at Ephesus that they needed to pray because of all they faced in world. Paul discussed prayer after he told the church to put on the whole armor of God. Paul thought of prayer as essential to the armor of God for the believer. Prayer flows through everything that we do.
Paul encouraged the church to pray in all things. We certainly need God’s wisdom and guidance in everything that we do.
Second, prayer should be “in the Spirit.” Is this what Jesus meant about praying in His name and in the will of God? Shouldn’t we be dependent on God’s Spirit in prayer and for everything in life?
Third, prayer should be intentional and specific. Paul wanted the Ephesians to pray for all the saints, and he wanted them to pray for Him. Paul asked that they pray for him specifically so that he might proclaim Christ with clarity and boldness.
One of the things interesting about Paul was that he did not ask for prayer for his personal situation in prison. That, of course, does not mean that we shouldn’t pray for others or ask others to pray for us, but it does show how much emphasis Paul placed on the Gospel.
Fourth, we should be alert and persevere in prayer. Being alert in prayer probably connects prayer to the devil’s schemes. We have an enemy and we need to be alert. As we pray, we will be prepared for a world and an enemy who seeks to harm and destroy us.