A Prayer for Our Inside Condition

In today’s YouTube video Rudy Ross asks me how I use Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 in my conversations with God.

Richard Foster’s writings have given me permission to experiment with different ways of prayer.

I read a book by Francis Frangipane in the 1990s that provided a format for using the Bible in prayer.

Over the years, many other authors have influenced how I pray. Here are some of the ways I have approached prayer. I hope they will encourage you.

(1) Francis Frangipane taught me to select a chapter from three areas of the Old Testament: History, Writings, and the Prophets. For example, this may involve reading a chapter from Genesis, Psalms, and Isaiah.

Frangipane then suggests reading from one of the Gospels (including Acts) and the Letters.

My morning prayer time includes reading five chapters from these sections of the Bible and praying about what I have read. I am currently reading and praying the Psalms, Jeremiah, Matthew, and Ephesians.

Praying like this takes about an hour, but it is worth every second of time and energy.

(2) Glenn Clark was a small college football coach and English teacher. He walked to his office every day and used that time to talk to Jesus as a friend. Clark is one of the great prayer leaders of the previous century.

Some of my best prayer times in memory took place when I brought one burden before the Lord and then got “lost” in meditation on the goodness of God.

I am currently not walking, but look forward to a time when I will be able to resume this practice.

(3) In today’s video, I explain how I use a prayer list in prayer. I have both a written list and an informal list in my head.

My name is on my prayer list because I need prayer like everyone else. There are people on the “every day” portion of the list. Family, church leaders, politicians, and world events are part of my daily prayers.

I also have certain persons designated to be prayed for on different days of the week. For example, I pray for the Pope on Wednesdays. He is one of the most influential people in the world and needs the wisdom and guidance of the Spirit.

The Ephesians Prayer

Ephesians 3.14-21 represents another prayer from the heart of Paul. We can use it to inform our prayers for ourselves and others.

Ephesians 3.14-17 – For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.

I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit

And that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.

There are two significant gifts that we can ask God to give the people in our sphere of influence.

(1) Inside Condition Strengthened – I put verse 16 into my own words and pray for the people on my prayer list.

On Wednesday, I prayed for Pope Francis. Why is a Baptist preacher praying for the Pope?

He has taken some courageous stands to speak God’s truth to governmental and religious leaders. He demonstrates a love for people that inspires me.

When I prayed for him, I asked God to give him physical, emotional, and spiritual strength. I prayed that the Holy Spirit would give him the power to represent God on the world’s stage.

He is the most recognizable Christian figure in the world and we need him to exemplify the character of Christ in all his activities.

(2) As I pray for myself, I ask for Christ to dwell in my heart through faith (verse 17).

My heart doesn’t have room for two leaders.

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6.24).

For Jesus to dwell in my heart, I have to move off the throne so he can take up residence. Faith is required for this to take place and I also ask the Lord to give this to me.

We can pray this for ourselves and for all of the people on our prayer lists. There is no greater gift than to be a dwelling place for the Greatest Being of All.

Prayer is Art

I have shared some of my prayer experiences to encourage you to experiment with prayer.

Prayer is not like solving an addition or subtraction problem. Prayer is like an art project where you will develop your own style and method.

Prayer is more about the heart than the words that come from our mouths. Your words don’t have to be perfect or well-formed.

God will do mighty things through your prayer when your heart is in the right place.

YouTube Video and Prayer

Rudy Ross and I have been friends for years. He is Jewish and I am a Gentle. Our friendship is centered around a love for God and his Bible. You can hear Rudy and me talk on the Bob Spradling YouTube Channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com and the Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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