“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing”, said Martin Luther King Jr. As a follower of Christ, we know the importance of prayer. Prayer is a lifeline for our spiritual life and a sweet time to have fellowship with our creator. We can see there are several types of prayers in the Bible and we might have them in our prayer lives. Prayer of praise, thanksgiving, petition, deliverance, healing, repentance, guidance and so on. In this post, I want to talk about one such type of purposeful prayer which focuses on God’s purpose to live a victorious life.
God has given each one of us a higher calling to live a purposeful life. He called us from darkness to light; called us to be a light and witness in this world reflecting His glory. He called us to live a holy life getting sanctified every day. He called us to strengthen each other in Christ. I love the quote from Rick Warren, “Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope”. We cannot live a fulfilled life without a purpose. Our situations might make us move our eyes from the purpose, we need intention and focus towards our calling. To live a purposeful life, we need a purposeful prayer life asking God to help us in our walk. Are you praying to live a purposeful life? Do we have that desire in our hearts today?
In the Bible, we see many saints who lived such a purposeful life. Apostle Paul was one of the most purpose-driven followers of Christ. He was always focused on walking in God’s purpose and contributed to a major portion of the new testament. He was passionately following Christ and it was very evident from his life. We can see that purpose in his prayers also. In this post, let’s look at two of such prayers from Apostle Paul. Prayers to live a purposeful and victorious Christian life. I believe this will help transform our prayers into more purpose-driven.
Prayer to know God and His provisions
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strengthEphesians 1:15-19
Knowing our creator is the important purpose of our lives. We are called to have a wonderful relationship with our Father through Christ to know him more and more every day. We might know God but it has several levels and depths. Warren Wiersbe wrote, “To know God personally is salvation. To know Him increasingly is sanctification. To know Him perfectly is glorification.” Our life is not enough to know him completely and we have eternity to experience & explore. Paul was praying for such an experience to know God more and more every day growing in our relationship with Him. This real knowledge of the author of life will assure our purpose and provides clarity in our walk.
Knowing God is not only theological, it is a relational experience. We can try to attain theological knowledge but only His Spirit of wisdom and revelation can teach us more and help us grow deeper in the relationship. Paul prayed for His spirit of wisdom and revelation so can increase in the real knowledge of God. The Holy Spirit gives us insight and teaches us in all things (John 14:26). Apostle Paul said,” I want to know Christ”(Phil 3:10). If Paul wanted to know Christ more, how much more it is needed for us!
Knowing God’s Provisions
Knowing God is essential and knowing What God has provided us through Christ is important to live a victorious life. In this prayer, Paul mentioned that there are 3 things God has given us; the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance & the incomparably great power for us who believe.
Hope to which he has called you, this hope is not temporal but eternal(Rom 8: 24). He brought us out of eternal death and gave us the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We have hope in this life because He lives; we have hope to overcome sin and the bondage of the world because He lives; we have hope to overcome trials and struggles because He lives. God has given us this everlasting hope.
Riches of his glorious inheritance, God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ(Eph 1:3-14). God chose us before the foundations of the earth, what a privilege and assurance! He accepted and adopted us to His family and made us sons and daughters and given us the privilege to call Him Father. Christ gave himself as a price to redeem us from our sins and made us righteous. We are a new creation in Christ. God gave us the wisdom to live every day for His purpose. We have all these amazing spiritual blessings through Christ(Count your blessings).
Power for us who believe, this power working in us and making us a new creation. It is not by our strength but by the power of God working in us. The power to overcome sin, temptation, trials and circumstances. Are we depending on God’s power?
Many times, we still fall short even after receiving all these provisions from God. Paul prayed that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened so we can realize all the provisions God has given us. Our eyes might be looking to the circumstances and having a blurred vision of the provisions of God. Let this be our prayer to enlighten the eyes of our hearts and be transformed by the renewing of our minds every day(Rom 12:2).
Prayer to walk worthy of our calling
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Ephesians 3:14-19
Paul’s 1st prayer focused on knowing God and His provisions. he went on the explain the depths of this experience. Now, in the 2nd prayer, Paul prayed for us to live according to our calling and for His glory; a life reflecting God to this world. Paul prayed for 4 things in this prayer.
Strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, If our inner being is weak, we might fall short in our spiritual walk. Just as the physical body needs good core strength, we need a strong inner being to live out in our calling. Many times, we depend on our strength and face the consequences. We need to humble ourselves and submit to God to be filled with His spirit and be strengthened.
Christ may dwell in your hearts, When we have faith in God and are saved by His grace, God resides in our hearts through His Spirit. But, Is he residing in our life as a whole or only in some parts? Are we submitting all aspects to Him? Jesus Christ is willing to reside in us as a whole if we are willing. Do we have that desire to be a dwelling place and a temple of God?
Being rooted and established in love, If Christ dwells in us, we will be rooted in His love, that sacrificial & unconditional love that transcends human understanding. God called us to be in fellowship with each other and experience that amazing love in all dimensions. This world needs to see that love and we are the witness to demonstrate that love(1 Cor 13).
Filled to the measure of all the fullness of God, What an amazing thought! This is the overall high point which we are called to attain and the fulfillment of both the prayers. It is when Christ living in us and transforming to the likeness of Him more and more; it is when we are filled with the fruits of the Spirit; it is when we walk worthy of our calling.
When we live according to this prayer; strengthened inner being, Christ dwelling, rooted in love and increasing in the fullness of God, people can see Christ in our lives and we can be the light reflecting God’s glory to this world.
Apostle Paul’s prayers in Ephesians need to be our prayers too. We have to be intentional to walk in God’s purpose and that starts with being purposeful in our prayers asking God to help. Our circumstances might come against us like waves but our hope is in the Lord and He alone can strengthen us to overcome and make us live life above the waves. Let us pray to know God more and more asking for the spirit of wisdom and revelation to reveal Him; to know His provisions with the eyes of our hearts enlightened; to walk worthy of our calling increasing in the fullness of God living a victorious life for His glory! Amen!