Wednesday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 6:18-23

Praying at All Times

Believers will sometimes experience dry times in their walk with the Lord.  They will wonder what is wrong and if there is something missing in their Christian life.  No doubt, unconfessed and especially unrepented sin in one’s life can lead to such valleys.  But assuming that one has examined oneself and has opened his or her heart before the Lord, the reason for such dry spells lies simply in the brokenness of the world and our own lives this side of heaven.  And the Church has no “silver bullet” to get one through these seasons, that is, other than the disciplines that she recommends at all times for the saints: prayer, Bible reading, meditating thereon, worshiping God with and being active in your local church, and going about doing good.  These are the things believers must continually do in season and out.

I begin this way to highlight the emphasis that Paul now places on the importance of intercessory prayer, urging the Ephesians to pray “at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.  To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”  This, we should be doing at all times, and without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  And it is praying for others that may be the very discipline that pulls you out of your own doldrums.  And as we pray for those whom we know, let us not forget to pray for those we don’t—such as those in Muslim and Communist nations where Christians are routinely persecuted for the faith.

As usual at the end of his letter, Paul becomes personal.  He confesses that he, the Apostle, needs prayer: “And [pray] for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”  Thus, we see that even Paul struggled with boldness to proclaim the gospel; then again, being imprisoned for doing so might lessen one’s boldness.  But Paul’s plea only begs the question: What’s our excuse? 

Paul’s final greetings always reveal his heart for the churches.  His desire was to encourage.  How we need encouragers among us.  Some have that gift, but we should all seek to lift one another up and so bless the lives of others with heaven-sent words.  Finally, may the love of the Father and His Son go with us every day—the only means of true peace we shall ever have—and may our hearts love Him with “love incorruptible.”  I love that phrase, and we have such love “because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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