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, and I don’t have a “release” from God yet. I like to teach by both precept and example. After teaching you about the importance of praying from a position of grace, Friday, we looked at two examples in scripture. I received a great deal of positive feedback from these grace-based prayers. We will look at two more examples today. Learning about the importance of prayer is one thing. But actually looking at good examples, at what “right” looks like, can help us a great deal. This type of teaching helps us develop our prayer life. Let’s get into it.
So what does this mean for you today? Let’s learn from the way Paul prayed.
Grace based prayer example #3: (Ephesians 1:15-20 ERV).
Paul’s prayer: “I always pray to the great and glorious Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that he will give you the Spirit, who will let you know truths about God and help you understand them, so that you will know him better. I pray that God will open your minds to see his truth. Then you will know the hope that he has chosen us to have. You will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious. And you will know that God’s power is very great for us who believe. It is the same as the mighty power he used to raise Christ from death and put him at his right side in the heavenly places.”
What can we learn from this prayer? A few things.
1. Paul prayed for divine insight from the Holy Spirit.
a) Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesus to have to Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God.
b) Paul asked God to open their minds to see the truth of what He had already provided. Another translation reads, “that your eyes would be flooded with light.”
c) Paul was basically asking God to lead the believers, through His Holy Spirit, so they would know what to pray for and what to pursue.
d) For you, this means that you should ask the Holy Spirit to lead you concerning your prayer life.
e) The Holy Spirit can tell you what to pray for… which is basically what God has already provided you by His grace.
f) When you ask for what God already provided (which is what is stored up for you to complete your purpose), your prayers get answered because you are praying in accordance with God’s will for your life.
2. Paul prayed that they would know the hope God had already chosen for them to have.
a) Paul was not praying for God to give them whatever they hoped for. Remember, God is not in the business of fulfilling our selfish desires. Paul was praying that they would know the hope God had already provided for them, by His grace.
b) You can come up with things to ask God for and then hope He gives them to you. Many people do this. This is basically “hoping and wishing,” but it is not faith. Faith begins where the will of God is known. When you ask God to reveal to you what is already yours — meaning, what He has already provided by His unearned grace — you can then pray in FAITH to receive it.
c) Once again, if you don’t know God’s will concerning something, then the best you can do is hope or wish. But when you know God’s will, you can have faith. Your faith accesses God’s grace.
3. Paul prayed that they would know the blessings God has promised His holy people are rich and glorious.
a) Paul wanted the believers to know how glorious God’s promises truly are.
b) When you get a revelation/understanding of God, of what He has done for you, and of what He plans to do through your life, you won’t be able to restrain your divine hope. You will live each day with an expectation of the manifestation of the promises God has made you. This is an amazing way to live!
c) God is a good God, and He wants to use you by His grace because He’s good. God is not out to bless you because you earned it or deserve it. He wants to pour out His goodness over you because He is a good good Father!
4. Paul prayed that they would know God’s power is available to them.
a) Paul wanted the believers to know that God’s power is freely available to them – the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
b) When you understand that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is freely available to you, it changes the way you see challenges, and it changes the way you pray.
c) Nothing is impossible for him who believes (Mark 9:23).
This is an excellent example of a grace-based prayer.
Grace based prayer example #4: (Colossians 1:3-11 ERV)
Paul’s prayer: “This is what we pray: that God will make you completely sure of what he wants by giving you all the wisdom and spiritual understanding you need; that this will help you live in a way that brings honor to the Lord and pleases him in every way; that your life will produce good works of every kind and that you will grow in your knowledge of God; that God will strengthen you with his own great power, so that you will be patient and not give up when troubles come.”
What can we learn from this prayer? A few things.
1. Pray to know what God wants to do in/with/through your life.
a) Paul prayed, “That God will make you completely sure of what he wants.”
b) When you understand God’s grace, you quickly realize that your life is not about you or your selfish desires. It’s about God and the plans He made for you before the world began.
c) There is nothing more powerful than a man or woman who is completely clear about God’s assignment for their lives and who is accessing the grace for that assignment with their faith.
2. Pray to access God’s wisdom and spiritual understanding.
a) Paul prayed that God would give you “all the wisdom and spiritual understanding you need.”
b) God has already made His wisdom and spiritual understanding available to you, by His grace. When you pray in faith, you access God’s grace to know His plans.
c) Knowing God’s will is critically important for the believer seeking to access His grace to perform His bidding on earth, as it is in heaven.
d) When you discover God’s will and walk in the wisdom and spiritual understanding the Holy Spirit can provide, you get to experience heaven on earth.
3. Pray to access the grace to live a life that is pleasing in God’s sight.
a) Paul explained that hearing from God will “help you live in a way that brings honor to the Lord and pleases him in every way.”
b) Your goal every day should be to do whatever God wants you to do that day.
c) The more you yield to God, His grace, and His will, the more you will live a life that is pleasing in His sight.
4. Pray to access the grace to produce good works of every kind.
a) Paul prayed, “That your life will produce good works of every kind.”
b) You can pray for your life to produce good works because God does not require you to come up with the power to perform the good works. God has already made His power (or grace) available to you to do all He has called you to do.
c) The more you die to self, the more God’s power will flow through you.
5. Pray for God to strengthen you with His supernatural power.
a) Paul prayed, “That God will strengthen you with his own great power.”
b) Whatever God expects you to do, He has already equipped you to do, by His grace.
c) God’s power is freely made available to you to accomplish His Kingdom plans and purposes for your life.
d) It would be out-of-character for your Heavenly Father to require something of you that He has not ALREADY equipped and empowered you to do.
6. Pray to access the grace to keep going when troubles come.
a) Paul prayed, “That you will be patient and not give up when troubles come.”
b) You will not accomplish great things for God without facing and overcoming opposition.
c) The greater the assignment from God, the greater the attack from satan.
d) The same God who gave you the grace for the assignment has also given you the grace to keep going when the pressure is on you to give up, cave in, and quit.
e) God’s grace is on you to KEEP GOING! Tap into it. You need it. Trouble will come, but when you tap into God’s grace and keep going, you trouble your trouble, and you are not troubled by it!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for teaching me to pray from a position of grace. You made plans for me before the world began. You made those plans by Your unearned grace. I had nothing to do with it. My success in life is tied to those plans. You now freely reveal to me all You planned to do in, with, and through my life. As I die to self and You reveal Your plans to me, I can live my life with complete confidence, knowing why I am here and what I was born to do. You give me wisdom and spiritual understanding so I can live a life that is pleasing in Your sight. As I walk with You and You walk with me, You produce good works of every kind, in me and through me, for Your glory. Trouble will come, but it cannot stop me. I press through every challenge, and I overcome every attack. I don’t do this with my power. I do it with Your great power, which is freely made available to me by Your grace. Your power flowing through me equips, enables, and empowers me, as You employ me to be Your emissary in the earth. So as I enter into this day, I declare that You speak through my vocal cords, think through my mind, and operate through my limbs. As Jesus is, so am I in this world. I LEVEL UP in 2021, and I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!