Today we continue our new series, “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” If we are going to make progress in 2021, we must be intentional. I am calling this “Progress on purpose.” God is saying, “New Levels” are available for us. But if we don’t pursue divine progress ON PURPOSE, we can surely miss out on what God is declaring for this season.
With that in mind, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
I told you that for area #1, we would take about recommitting ourselves spiritually in three areas:
1. The Word of God
2. The Holy Spirit (hearing from God)
We already covered the first two, and I have been teaching on prayer for days. I wanted to move on, but the Father won’t let me. I believe it is because this is a season when many churches are fasting. Since fasting and prayer go hand-in-hand, the teaching on prayer is timely.
I like to teach by both precept and example. I have been giving you principles and precepts about praying from a position of grace. Today we will look at two examples.
So what does this mean for you today? Let’s see.
Grace based prayer example #1: (Ephesians 3:14-21 ERV)
Paul prayed, “So I bow in prayer before the Father. Every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name from him. I ask the Father with his great glory to give you the power to be strong in your spirits. He will give you that strength through his Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you. With God’s power working in us, he can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.”
What can we learn from this prayer? A few things.
1. Pray directly to the Father.
a) Paul prayed to the Father.
b) Because of Jesus, we have the grace to go directly to the Father in His name.
c) Pray to the Father in the name of His Son, through the power of His Spirit.
d) You don’t have to pray to or through ANY intermediary.
2. Pray for the Father to give you strength in your spirit through His Spirit.
a) Paul prayed, “I ask the Father with his great glory to give you the power to be strong in your spirits. He will give you that strength through his Spirit.”
b) God has limitless power, and He makes His power available to us through His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who lives IN us.
c) Through God’s empowerment (or grace), we can operate in power that far exceeds human ability.
3. Pray for understanding concerning the depth and breadth of God’s love.
a) Paul prayed that we would understand “the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is.” Paul said, “Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love.”
b) When you get a revelation of the love of God, it will change you from the inside-out.
c) Once you know how much God loves you and all He planned to do in your life by grace, the way you see God, yourself, and your future will change forever.
4. Pray to be filled with everything God has for you.
a) Paul taught that once you get a revelation of God’s love, and all He planned to do in your life by grace, “Then you can be filled with everything God has for you.”
b) Your life is not about you. It’s about God’s assignment for your life; an appointment God issued before the world began.
c) If you allow yourself to DIE TO SELF, you will be in a position to receive God’s grace and to walk in the NEW LEVELS He has destined for us in 2021.
5. Pray for God to reveal and manifest His best in your life – which is far greater than anything you could ever ask for, think of, or even imagine.
a) God’s plans for your life are far greater than your dreams!
b) Paul said, “With God’s power working in us” — which keeps the emphasis on God and His grace — “God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of.”
c) God is the one with the power, and He is the one who wants to flow His power through you; by His grace, for His glory.
d) When God’s power flows through you, there is nothing you can’t do. That is the power of dying to self and yielding to God’s grace.
This is an excellent example of a grace-based prayer.
Grace based prayer example #2: (Philippians 1:3-11 ERV)
Paul’s greeting: “I thank God every time I remember you. And I always pray for all of you with joy. I thank God for the help you gave me while I told people the Good News. You helped from the first day you believed until now. I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until he completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again. I know I am right to think like this about all of you because you are so close to my heart. This is because you have all played such an important part in God’s grace to me—now, during this time that I am in prison, and whenever I am defending and proving the truth of the Good News. God knows that I want very much to see you. I love all of you with the love of Christ Jesus.”
Paul’s graced-based prayer: “This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; that you will see the difference between what is important and what is not and choose what is important; that you will be pure and blameless for the coming of Christ; that your life will be full of the many good works that are produced by Jesus Christ to bring glory and praise to God.”
What can we learn from Paul’s greeting and his prayer? A few things.
1. Trust God for the grace to finish what He started in your life.
a) Paul said, “I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until he completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again.”
b) God started the work in your life — by His grace, for His glory — and He will finish what He started. Not because you are so good, but because He is!
c) Think of God’s commitment to you and thank Him for it as you pray.
2. Thank God for the people He has placed in your life to be a part of His grace towards you.
a) To the believers in Philippi, the Apostle Paul said, “You have all played such an important part in God’s grace to me.”
b) God places people in your life to help, develop, coach, teach, mentor, support, and encourage you. These people become part of God’s grace towards you.
c) Think of the people God has anointed to assist you in your life’s journey and thank Him for those people as you pray.
3. Pray for growth and development in God’s love.
a) Paul prayed, “That your love will grow more and more.”
b) God is love. Love is not something God does; it is who He is. You cannot grow in God without growing in love.
c) As you pray, ask God to fill you with His love, and as you die to self, you will become a conduit of God’s love. God’s love will flow TO you and then THROUGH you.
4. Pray for discernment and discipline.
a) Paul prayed, “That you will see the difference between what is important and what is not and choose what is important.”
b) Paul prayed for divine discernment to know the difference between the truly important things and those that are not.
c) Paul then prayed for the discipline to make the right decisions. This is critical for this season (NEW LEVELS), and for the rest of your life.
5. Pray for God to produce much fruit through your life.
a) Paul prayed, “That your life will be full of the many good works that are produced by Jesus Christ to bring glory and praise to God.”
b) Good works are produced by God, through you, for His glory.
c) Pray for God to do all He planned to do, from the foundations of the world, through you, for His glory.
* Notice that Paul did not pray selfish prayers. Paul’s prayers were not focused on natural or worldly desires. Paul’s prayers were focused on God, His grace, and His will so that God could get the glory!
These are good examples of grace-based prayers. I hope this is helping you learn how to pray!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for Your amazing grace towards me. I also thank You for teaching me to pray from a position of grace. You made plans for me before the world began and I am now simply seeking to FIND, FOLLOW, and FINISH those plans. You honor my decisions, so I thank You for giving me the grace to make good ones. You bless me to discern what is truly important and You have also graced me to be disciplined enough to choose only those things that are pleasing in Your sight. You started a great work IN me and I am confident You will finish what You started. The more I die to self, the more I grow in Your love, and the more I become a conduit of Your glory in the earth. I was born to make a difference. I am here for a reason. You brought me into the world to leave a mark that will not be erased. And I declare that I will leave that mark. Not by my strength, but by Your grace. Not for my fame, but for Your glory. Not by pursuing my will, but by pursuing Your purpose. I die to me, You live through me, and You produce much fruit in and through my life. Not just fruit, but much fruit, and my fruit will remain. Greater is coming for me! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!