A Prayer-Wimp Theologian

April 3, 2009 at 10:08 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Prayer, Theology | Leave a comment

Ephesians 1-3.  Twice in these chapters Paul says, “For this reason” I pray.  Both of these comments follow a theological discussion.  As one who loves theology, and as one who is a prayer wimp, I find this fascinating.  When the great theologian discusses things like the incredible spiritual blessings we have in Christ, he follows it up with a prayer for the people to whom he writes.  In this prayer he asks God to give the Ephesians a deeper knowledge of God and a deeper knowledge of the hope, riches and inheritance they have in Christ.  “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.  I pray also 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 the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (1:17-19).  He goes on to talk about that “incomparably great power” as resurrection power.  Here are all these blessing in Christ; they are amazing blessings; and they are all yours.  Now I pray you would know them and that you would know the power behind them.

                After a discussion of the grace, unity and riches we have in Christ, he follows up with a prayer that Christ would dwell in their hearts and that they would know God’s incredible love – a love that is beyond human knowledge.  In recent days, this has become my favorite of the biblical prayers:  “that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (3:17-19 – for a memory tool, notice how these verse numbers compare to the passage above).

                As a prayer-wimp theologian, I should begin using the great theological truths of the Bible as a basis for my prayers.  In fact, if I am a theologian, then I have no excuse for a wimpy prayer life.  When I don’t know what to pray for someone, just asking that they would know those great truths is a perfect beginning.  These two prayers in Ephesians can serve as examples.  The Reformed doctrines are wonderful truths that I should wish all to know, and I should pray to that end, especially for people I know and care about.  I prayed for the congregation at Village today that, as we face this resurrection season, we would know God’s resurrection power in our lives and in our church; that the power which raised Jesus from the dead would raise the deadness in us to new life; and that, through his power, more people would come to know his amazing love.

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