16 Cease [pauo] not [ou] to give thanks [eucharisteo]
for [huper] you, [humon] making [poieo] mention [mneia] of you [humon] in [epi] my [mou] prayers; [proseuche] KJV-Interlinear
16 do not
cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; NASB
Prayer is one of, if not, the most powerful tool you can possess. Its power comes not in the words used, but in the power of the doctrine that stands behind the words.
You and I are nothing more than a pile of dust, with life imputed into that dust. Alone we are nothing more than useless and powerless.
And into that essence of nothingness, God places doctrine. And therein is the real power placed at our disposal. However, with all freedoms and privileges comes responsibility and obligation. Abuse or disregard your responsibilities, and you lose the privileges.
Prayer becomes effective only as a result of the doctrine or power behind that prayer. And that doctrine must first be learned and understood, and assimilated into something useful, before it can be applied.
Without the proper use and application of prayer, it will be no more useful than talking to the wind.
First, all prayer belongs to believers only. One must be inside of the family of God, before you can speak with God. No unbeliever has access to the power of prayer, with one exception, and that exception is when they believe in Christ. That belief is in effect a prayer to God for salvation, which is automatically granted when a person believes in Christ.
After salvation, the door for more effective prayer is blown wide open.
Second, all prayer must be offered to God while in fellowship. Confession of sin is a form of prayer as well, which gets you back into fellowship when you have sinned and have been out of fellowship as a result of that sin. Confession is granted automatically as well.
After that, all prayer becomes potential. God may or may not grant your request. God does grant all requests that will contribute to your spiritual growth. Confession is one of those types of prayer.
Third, all prayer must be offered to God the Father. No prayer is ever offered to people, ancestors, angels, planets, fish, rocks, idols of any sort, and so forth. Those folks or things do not have the power to grant much less hear your prayers.
Fourth, all prayer must be submitted to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Christ is the only means of access to the Father. No one can approach the Father except that they approach through Christ. That is His plan and mandate, and will. Anything else means that you reject His plan, and authority and process, thus insulting Him and promoting your own arrogance, in presuming that you can do things your way and not Gods way.
Fifth, all prayer must be in conformity with Gods planned ages for history. You cannot go against the overall plan of God for history.
Sixth, all prayer must be in conformance with Gods plan for your specific life. Even though you may not become the next president or lottery winner, there are certainly things that you can accomplish in your life, namely through an education and/or effort of some sort.
But most importantly in your life, Gods will is that you advance to spiritual maturity, and that option too is granted, when you comply with Gods process for spiritual growth. And that process is clearly spelled out in the scriptures, namely through daily study, learning, understanding, application and so forth. Comply with these mandates and your growth to maturity will succeed.
Beyond the obvious, God will hear prayers for needs and desires to a certain degree, but realize too that you cannot interfere with Gods plan for other people. Prayer for their help is legitimate, but a great deal of their benefit is determined by their attitude toward God and doctrine.
God has an overall plan for history. All of mans desires and efforts cannot change that plan. God has a plan for your life, unfortunately your attitude can derail that plan if you are indifferent or simply non-compliant.
In the next few verses, Paul spells out the details of his prayer.
Table of Contents
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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