PRAYING LIKE THE GREAT APOSTLE PAUL
More and more I find myself patterning my prayers after the prayers of the great apostle Paul as he prayed for the faithful saints at Ephesus. Here he states, “For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .” (Ephesians 3:14). This is the great prayer of the apostle for the church and the believer. It must also be pointed out that the prayer was so important that it drove Paul to his knees.
It is said that bowing of the knee is a sign of desperate need and dependency. It is a sign of reverencing God. It demonstrates not only utter dependence, but extreme humility before the great Architect of our faith and salvation.
Some situations demand that we fall to our knees in complete dependence and reverence to the Almighty. Praying for the saints is no simple, ordinary matter. It should never be taken lightly. Thank God for the many who continue in steadfast prayer all around this Northeast Region and elsewhere. We are assured from the Holy Writ that “. . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Saints let’s keep on praying! The New International Version puts it this way “. . . The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). What an incentive to pray!
The apostle Paul was very specific in his prayers, he said “For this cause, I bow my knees . . . (v14). May we be very specific as we pray. May we pray with specific purpose – “For this cause,” I pray.
It should never be overlooked, some of the things for which the saintly apostle prays. He doesn’t pray for wealth, riches or material things. He does not even pray for himself, nor for the material prosperity for the saints. It goes way beyond the physical and the secular. As we read we are gripped by the intense spirituality of his prayer. He prays for spiritual things and blessings for the saints. It goes beyond the natural and the superficial. How this prayer challenges us to go beyond the surface and to change our focus as we enter beyond the veil with our knees bent and our souls turned heavenward!
He prays for the believers to become mature and spiritually committed. Can you imagine what would happen, if the church begins to recognize and explore her full potential in God even in this twenty-first century? He prays for strength and power within – by God’s Spirit (v.16). He prays for Christ to dwell and reign in their hearts by faith (v.17). He prays for love to reign supreme and be fully operative among them (v.17). He prays for understanding – a deeper comprehension of Christ’s love (v.18). He prays for them to know the unsurpassable love of Christ (v.19). Then finally there is the encouragement to pray and trust God for the answer.
As we pray we must also be mindful to encourage the saints to pray for themselves, knowing to whom their petitions are made. Before he concludes, he climaxes this practical lesson in prayer by simply reminding the saints that “God is able to do what we ask . . .” However, he takes it even further by declaring God is able to do, “. . . exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think . . .” Imagine going beyond anything we can think – or anything we can ask.
The apostle Paul prayed intently and intensely. He prayed reverentially and humbly. He prayed sincerely and passionately. He prayed for others and so should we! Let’s keep the prayer fires burning all across the Northeast Region and beyond.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Bishop – Northeast Region
April 24, 2021
In collaboration with our District Overseers, the Church of God of Prophecy submits to the wisdom of continuing to ‘Shelter in Place’ for the safety and protection of the flock. This is to be observed until further notice and the present virus is better contained. Should the need arise to meet, we are advised to meet in groups of no more than 10, while we strictly observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and aggressive sanitizing of our hands and surfaces frequently touched.
Please let us patiently observe these practices to keep each other safe and alive. We are reminded that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Stay home! Stay Healthy! Stay Hopeful! We shall soon get through this! Premature re-openings of our churches seem not to be the wisest way to go at this point. Let us continue to pray, caring for each other and staying connected.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Presiding Bishop — Northeast Region