To understand prayer, we look to the scripture. In one passage Jesus said, “men ought always to pray and not lose heart.” There is another where Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians tells them to “pray without ceasing.” Also, Peter reminds us to “cast our cares upon Him for He cares for you.” As Christians, prayer is our lifeline. Bringing closure to his thoughts on the armour of God, Paul focuses in on this matter of prayer. First, he speaks of prayer, then he centres in on intercession and completes with a personal request for prayer.
Prayer, similar to breathing, requires a constant flow. Sometimes it is a simple surrender of a thought to His Lordship. Then at other times it is a deep groan for the soul of a friend. Perhaps it is lingering on a hymn brought to the mind by the Spirit. Then again, it could be a quick expression of gratitude for one of His gracious gifts. We live our hearts open to His presence. He sees the concerns of our hearts and treasures the time spent with us. It is a oneness with the Spirit of God. There we learn not only to share our heart with Him, but seek to know His heart. We become reliant on the Spirit’s knowledge of our deep concerns. His saints realize that He, with unutterable groans, can present them to our Abba Father.
Next, Paul tells the Ephesians to pray for all the saints. The Amplified Bible puts it this way.
“keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints.”
Jesus in the shadow of His cross called on His Father on behalf of the saints, not only those present but those who would come because of their words. He prayed they would be one, as is the triune God, and that they be perfect in that oneness. That they be with Him and behold His glory was His desire. He prayed the love with which God loved Jesus would also be in them, and that He would be in them. While the disciples slept, He prayed. His purpose was strong, and He persevered in His prayer throughout the night. By following His example and the Godly prayers throughout the scriptures, we find inspiration and models from which to pray for the saints. We must be vigilant in our prayers for God’s people.
A Personal Request
“And for me,” Paul then adds. Pray for me. His call, his work depends on the power of the Holy Spirit. God responds to the prayers of His people. Making known the mystery of the gospel provides the impetus of his life. It is the reason he is in chains. He wants to speak boldly as he ought to. We may read this and find it strange to consider the great apostle Paul needing power for utterance and boldness. However, when we think back, we realize the boldness came to the apostles when God poured out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It didn’t suffice for all time either. They continually asked for fresh power to speak boldly. The power came from God. Today we need to hold up our pastors and teachers and all who name the name of Jesus with prayers for boldness and utterance.
Bringing closure to his thoughts on the armour of God, Paul focuses in on this matter of prayer. First, he speaks of prayer, then he centres in on intercession and finishes with a personal request for prayer. His words still speak today.