All Christians should be familiar with the grace of God as it is through the grace, unmerited favor, of God that we have salvation by accepting by faith His Son, Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. It is also this same grace that provides all spiritual blessings that are ours as Christians. It is in God’s providential grace that He has blessed us with spiritual blessings in the heavenlies from which all His blessings come. The multitudes of blessings we receive come from the work of God and are available only to those of us who are “in Christ,” God’s children who are saved through our faith in Christ. All spiritual blessings or enrichments that are needed for spiritual life are bestowed on every believer; it is up to us to appropriate them by faith.
Have you appropriated these spiritual blessings by your faith and used them for the Lord in your spiritual life?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
It was through God’s will that Paul was made an apostle of Jesus Christ. Originally named Saul, he was a violent persecutor of Christians, that is, until he had an encounter with God on the Damascus Road, an encounter that changed Saul from a persecutor against Christ to Paul an apostle and prisoner for Christ. It was through God’s will that Saul was encountered on that road; it was through God’s will that Paul became an apostle of and perhaps the greatest missionary for Christ; it was through God’s will that Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesians, telling them and also us of our great spiritual blessings as Christians. As we embark on this short series of devotionals concerning our spiritual blessings, thank God that it was His will that each of us accept His Son as our Savior and receive the bountiful spiritual blessings that are ours as Christians.
While you are thanking God for being a part of His plan, thank Him also for the many spiritual blessings you have received as a Christian!
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God…” (Ephesians 1:1a)
As Christians we are not guaranteed a life that is devoid of concerns, spiritual concerns included. These concerns can be burdensome and heavy upon our heart and life; however, we as Christians also have a place to turn for an answer to our concerns. Whatever our spiritual concern is God’s Word has a response for us, and He is waiting to commune with us in prayer. He is our “twenty-four hour help line,” always ready to ease our spiritual burden if we simply come to Him, leaving us with the peace of God within our heart. The question then becomes, “What is our response to Him?” One way is to always carry a heart and attitude of gratitude for what He has done for us. We express this gratitude to God through our service for Him, telling others of Him, and communing with Him through prayer. Regardless of what is happening in our life we can go to Him in prayer, remembering that true prayer is always accompanied with gratitude.
Have you expressed your gratitude to God for His amazing grace in your life
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
One of the privileges we have when praying is making requests or petitions on behalf of others. This was evident in the life of Paul as he was joyful whenever he was praying for churches and other Christians, whether he knew them personally or not. These prayers teach us to pray intercessory prayers, but they also teach us that there should be joy and rejoicing in our prayer life. It is easy to do so and we should rejoice and have joy when our personal requests are answered to our satisfaction, but do we rejoice when we have the privilege of praying for others or when our own personal requests are not answered? Paul evidenced this joyfulness when he prayed multiple times that his “thorn in the flesh” be removed and his request was denied. He rejoiced that God’s purpose was being fulfilled in his life, God’s grace enabled him to endure the thorn, and Christ’s power was being revealed in him. Keep in remembrance Paul’s lessons to us to rejoice and be joyful in our prayer life!
Examine your prayer life, making sure you are joyful and rejoicing in your heart as you pray for others and accept God’s answer to your requests as His will for your life!
“Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.” (Philippians 1:4)
As we either learn to pray or attempt to heal an ineffective prayer life, the Scripture is clear that we are not to be praying if we do not have forgiveness in our heart. There may be a situation or situations in which we were wronged or were witness to a wrong done, either one causing us to hold a grudge against someone. Whether the person is a believer or unbeliever, we are commanded to forgive. Failure to forgive will cause bitterness in our heart, hinder our spiritual life, our walk with the Lord, and even our health. We are expected to have an ongoing forgiving attitude, and if we desire our prayer life to be acceptable to God, we are to demonstrate forgiveness as well as faith.
If you have anything against anyone, when you pray ask the Lord to give you a forgiving heart and attitude!
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25)
God expects us to pray with a total faith that our prayers will be answered by the One to whom we are praying. When we accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord, we did so by faith: faith in Him, faith that He saved us, and faith that we will someday spend eternity with Him. Yet, why is it so difficult to have faith that He can and will answer our prayers? When our faith rests in God, not the object of our request, we will have an unwavering trust in His omnipotence to answer our request. God’s answer to our request may be “no,” and if we have rested our faith only in the object of our request we will be left with nothing; whereas, resting our faith on God leads us to realize that God knows the best for us in accordance with His will both for our life and His kingdom.
When you pray, are you resting your faith in God, or the object of your request?
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God.’” (Mark 11:22)
The first observation we made related to prayer was that we are to pray to our heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, our High Priest. Following that train of thought, we are also instructed to pray in the Holy Spirit. As Christians we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and as we allow Him to do so He leads us as we walk in our daily Christian life; therefore, it is only natural that we should desire that He lead us as we pray to our Father. When we pray we have the privilege of communing, fellowshipping, and experiencing a wonderful relationship with the members of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. Is there any wonder that prayer is such a powerful tool when we pray as Jesus has taught us in Scripture along with the leading of the Holy Spirit?
Do you allow the Holy Spirit to be an integral part in your prayer life?
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…” (Ephesians 6:18)