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pray … for what?

23-02-2012 - Posted by Andre Piet

During the past few days, the subject of prayer has rather preoccupied my mind. The apostle Paul is, as always, my teacher (1Tim. 2:7; 2Tim.1:11), not in the least, also, to properly understand the rest of the Scriptures. Whoever will take the trouble to delve into Paul’s prayers, as they are recorded in his letters, will quickly notice that they are never about earthly conditions and circumstances. Things that we usually find the most important, such as health, finances, work, livelihood, housing, etc., were not the subject of Paul’s prayers. Paul lived completely carefree, in the knowledge that God always provides, perfectly. He gave thanks for that. But what did he pray about? I will select three of his prayers, which he wrote down (please note) while in prison.

Therefore, I (…) do not cease giving thanks for you, making mention in my prayers that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may be giving you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the realization of Him, the eyes of your heart having been enlightened, for you to perceive what is the expectation of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of the enjoyment of His allotment among the saints… Ephesians 1:15-18 On this behalf am I bowing my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, after Whom every kindred in the heavens and on earth is being named, that He may be giving you, in accord with the riches of His glory, to be made staunch with power, through His spirit, in the man within… Ephesians 3:14-16 Therefore we also, from the day on which we hear, do not cease praying for you and requesting that you may be filled full with the realization of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, Colossians 1:9

Not the way in which our earthly conditions would be provided for, was Paul’s concern. On the contrary. What ever so much concerned him was that people, in general (1Tim.2:1-4), but believers, in particular, would realize how rich they are! That the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened in order to see the glorious expectation God has revealed in His word. That they would be filled with an awareness of God’s will, in all wisdom and spiritual insight. Not the outward man and the circumstances in which he finds himself, matter, but “the inner man.” With this last expression, Paul was not referring to the stomach, but to the heart. When we draw strength from “the riches of His glory,” we know to adjust to all circumstances with a sparkle in our eyes (= with the eyes of the heart enlightened!). That is what counts! Paul bowed his knees before the Father, so all whom he loved, would, also, richly realize this. What an example to imitate!   ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema

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