Summary: Our prayer life is a indicator of our reliance upon God. God’s will for each of us is that we so rely on Him that prayer is a spontaneous activity throughout our daily life as individuals and throughout our weekly activities as a church family.
Last time, we thought together about how it is God’s will for each of His children to be joyful. Now today, I want us to spend some time reflecting on the second thing that Paul says is God’s will for each of us - v. 17. There are two ways in which this needs to be applied:
1. It must be applied individually.
The Greek word translated “pray” here is “proseuchomai.” It is a combination of two Greek words, “pros,” meaning “toward,” and “euchomai,” meaning “to pray.” This idea is to turn toward God. Therefore, we are told that when it comes to how we approach our daily lives, we need to always be turned toward God.
The idea here is that our communion with God should be so intimate and personal that we find ourselves naturally talking to Him through-out our day. Praying continually means praying repeatedly and often.
The word translated “continually” (adialeiptos) was also used to refer to a hacking cough. Have you had a cold recently? Do you know what it’s like to cough spontaneously? There are times you just can’t stop yourself. The same should be true of prayer. We should be continuously offering up prayers to the Lord because we just can’t help ourselves.
“Prayerlessness is our declaration of independence from God.” - Daniel Henderson
Prayerfulness indicates we’re relying on God; while prayerlessness indicates we’re relying on ourselves. That’s why, through-out our day, we need to reaffirm our reliance on God through prayer.
The Christian life is impossible to live. But God specializes in doing the impossible.
“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” - Mark 10:27 (NIV)
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” - Martin Luther
In maintaining dependence on God through-out our day through prayer, what are some things we need to ask of God? Here are some thoughts:
A. Pray that you might go with Christ through-out your day.
“It is better to ask God to direct our paths than to have to ask Him to correct our mistakes.” - Anonymous
We often go through life in such a hurry and so overwhelmed by our problems that we think we don’t have time to pray. But that sense of hurriedness can be spiritually devastating.
“Hurry is not of the devil; it IS the devil.” - Carl Jung
The point is that the extent to which we fail to pray, will determine the extent to which we become the Devil’s prey.
B. Pray that you might grow in Christ through-out your day.
“A great emphasis in prayer is what God desires to do in us. He desires to get us under His loving authority, dependent on His Spirit, walking in the Light, motivated by His love, and living for His glory. The collective essence of these five truths is an abandonment of one’s life to the Lord and a continual openness, dependence, and responsiveness to His loving control.” - Bill Thrasher, A Journey to Victorious Praying
“No Christian rises higher than their praying.” - Anonymous
C. Pray that you might glow for Christ through-out your day.
“Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” - Matthew 5:16 (NLT)
“It is not a glare but a glow, and we are simply to let the light shine. God prefers stars to comets. The figure is a candle, not a firecracker.” - Vance Havner
That we might let our light consistently shine in a dark world should be a consistent request we lift up to the Father.
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope,
always be ready to explain it.” - 1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)
2. It must be applied congregationally.
This is a collective command.
It is not only applicable to each of us individually, but to all of us congregationally.
We mentioned earlier that the Greek word translated “pray” is a combination of two Greek words, “pros,” meaning “toward,” and “euchomai,” meaning “to pray.” This idea is to turn toward God.
Every time we gather, we need to turn toward God.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” - Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
We must all agree that without Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5)! As we gather together, in His name, submitting to His authority and Lordship, then great things can happen!
“The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. But Scripture (Acts 2:1-2; 4:24, 31; 12:5; 13:1-4) and experience combine to teach that the united prayers of many righteous accomplish still more.” - Oswald Sanders
We mentioned earlier that the word translated “pray” here is “proseuchomai.” It is a combination of two Greek words, “pros,” meaning “toward,” and “euchomai,” meaning “to pray.” Now, the word “euchomai,” which means “to pray,” is related to the word, “eucharistia,” which is translated “communion.” In fact, a transliteration of the Greek word, “Eucharist,” is often used with reference to the celebration of Communion, or the Lord’s Supper.