“Often, we do everything but pray. We tend to want something more “substantial.” Even studying the Bible, going to church, talking to the pastor, or receiving counsel seems more tangible than prayer. What victory the enemy has in winning us over to prayerlessness! He would rather we do anything than pray. He’d rather see us serve ourselves into the ground, because he knows we’ll eventually grow resentful without prayer. He’d rather see us study the Bible into the wee hours of the morning like the Pharisees & Sadducees, because he knows we’ll never have a deep understanding and power to live what we’ve learned without prayer. He knows prayerless lives are powerless lives, while prayerful lives are powerful lives!” (Beth Moore, Breaking Free: Discover the Victory of Total Surrender, p. 71).
Interestingly, throughout Scripture, we see many prayers of blessing. God Himself first said a prayer of blessing over Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and multiply.” God gave a similar blessing to Noah and his sons in Genesis 9:1 after they left the ark. In Genesis 12:3, we see God go one step further and not only give a blessing to Abraham, but a blessing is given for generations to come. “I [God] will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” These prayer of blessings continue: God blesses Isaac, Isaac blesses his son Jacob, Jacob blesses his 12 sons which become the 12 tribes of Israel and the list goes on and on.
Today, I want to draw your attention to the New Testament. To a prayer of blessing that Paul prayed over the church of Ephesus. Pay close attention to the specific blessings that can result from prayer.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit 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 strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 1:17-20
Although I may not know you or be able to tangibly see your face, I am sitting at my kitchen table today saying this prayer over you. I pray that you will know God better. I pray that your eyes will be opened to the hope to which you have been called. I pray that you will begin to realize the power…not just any power, but an INCOMPARABLY GREAT power…you have been given whose name is the Holy Spirit. I pray you know (not just think about or ponder…but actually know) that God has a plan for you. Specifically for you because He wants to include you in His work. He wants to use you to introduce your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers and others to Jesus Christ.
This incomparably great power was able to raise Jesus Christ from the dead! And we are told this power is available “for us who believe.” So, do you believe it? Does your life reflect it? Do others see it? I wonder what would happen if we started living what we believed? I wonder if our lives were infused with prayer, would we see God working? I wonder how many lives could potentially be changed if only we knew God better? Oh, how I wonder.
I gotta go now. It’s time to do some praying.