July 1, 2018 at 10:39 am #44912Mari – AdministratorKeymaster
SWORDS Bible Study Eph 18C Perseverance and Supplication
Getting on with our study of the armor of God for the believer, it caught my attention the word supplication is mentioned twice in the verse that commands us to pray, and the verse adds the word perseverance as well.
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
We are being commanded here to be supplicants in the Spirit! We are also being told who it is that we are to be in supplication for—all the saints! We are further being told to make sure that we are “watching thereunto”, and that we do this with perseverance and supplication, i.e., without giving up! God is telling us to be “watching” for opportunities to pray for the saints. He is also saying to watch out for things that may inhibit us from praying, and to watch for that which needs prayer in the lives of the saints!
Prayers of supplication are a big part of the spiritual battle in which all Christians are engaged! The fact that Paul has to say this tells me that praying with all perseverance and supplication does not come naturally to us, we must fight to make praying for others a part of our life! It is not in our old man nature to pray always for our fellow members of the body of Christ; it is however, in our new man to pray for one another!
Life is busy. There is so much to do every single day! Taking time to pray can seem to take time away from getting the meals on the table, getting ready for work, doing the hundreds of chores we have before us daily to make life smooth for ourselves and those around us. I mean, truly, in the morning we have to straighten the house, straighten ourselves, feed ourselves and perhaps family, pets… There are appointments to make and appointments to keep. The doctor, the dentist, laundry, grocery shopping, our jobs, even and sometimes mostly on our days off trying to catch up with the yard and all we have not gotten to during the week!
Busy, busy, busy like bees most of the time, making a living, managing our living. Always behind, always struggling to get caught up or get ahead, and the deep-bone tiredness, either physically or mentally, or both (!) of knowing it will NEVER end! We get caught up for a while, only to find ourselves with more to do and catch up on once again!
But here is something that WILL end my sisters, and that is our lives here on earth. So what counts? We must ask ourselves this! Here is what Paul, who is our example/pattern, said counted for him;
Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you”
1Ti_1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Do you see the connection? Paul tells us to be “praying always” (Eph. 6:18), and he himself was “praying always.” A good leader leads by example!
Every day that we do not take even a little time to pray to the Lord—and not just for ourselves, but for the saints too—is a day that won’t be remembered with joy when we stand before the Lord. Why? Because our God, through Paul, tells us that this is what
Paul has given us a big key when he told the Philippian church that they could relieve their anxieties by remaining faithful in prayer, especially prayers of thanksgiving and supplication. He said that this is the prescription, if you will, for ensuring that “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
Php 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I understand this because on the days that I do not put on the armor of God, and don’t stop to pray for the saints, my day never goes as well! When I do remember and TAKE the time for prayer, it seems even when there are a myriad of complications throughout that day, there is still a peace inside me, and a better ability to deal with the problems, than the days I do not.
So how do we do this…how do we ensure this time to be in prayer and supplication with perseverance for all the saints? I believe that this is one of the masteries for which Paul says we must strive: (ICor.9:25). The word masteries means “to contend, to devote serious energy and effort.” For what? For victory! For peace!
However, there are guidelines we must follow in order to attain this victory:
2Ti 2:4-5 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
While we must all be busy with the affairs of life, we must not allow ourselves to be so entangled with the affairs of this life that we don’t take time to pray for the saints. So we should strive for mastery our lives, not by making lists and making enough time to get everything done, though I do this too! But more than that, strive for the mastery of understanding and doing the things God has told us to do! One is to pray with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
So at the end of the day, I am learning to put my novel down, or turn the TV off sooner than not, because my flesh is weak with fatigue at night, and I want to spend time with the Lord before I’m too tired to think and pray. This gives us time to read our Bible for a time and pray before we sleep, or take this pleasure in the early in the morning for the same thing. Or both! Or throughout the day!
We must school ourselves to run the race of the Christian life. One doesn’t just jump in and run a marathon the first day they decide to begin jogging. You have to practice and push to get into shape. But we do want to run, to win the prize, exactly as Paul has told us:
1Co_9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
We all have choices to make and this is a very important choice to make.
Lastly, while it is important to set aside time each day to pray, I also believe, because the word of God tells us to “pray without ceasing” (IThes.5:17). And so we may pray while preparing meals, or pray while straightening the house, working at our jobs etc. Since these things, and all the other things we talked about tend to keep us from having time with the Lord where we do nothing but speak with Him, why not use these distractions of life as opportunities to check in with Him as well? I’ve noticed that this takes away a lot of the frustration and helps me to enjoy life all the more. I hope it will do this too.
Give glory to God in prayer!
THE GOSPEL THAT SAVES
“I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved … that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
– 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJB)
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