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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Fourth and fifth features of praying in the Spirit (6:18-20)

We are thinking about five features of praying in the Spirit that Paul mentions in these verses and have already noted three of them: such prayers will be scriptural, submissive and will include all of God’s people. Today, we can think about two more features.

The fourth feature of praying in the Spirit is steadfastness. Paul uses two words in making this emphasis. First, each believer needs to be alert, and secondly, each believer must persevere in praying. This is a reminder that praying in the Spirit is neither automatic nor easy. It requires resolve and dedication. Of course, this steadfastness comes from the Spirit, but we have to continually ask for it. There are many things that can divert us from persisting to pray in the Spirit.

The fifth feature of such praying is the inclusion of specific prayers. Paul gives a personal request concerning his preaching of the gospel. At the very least, his example is a reminder that we should ask other Christians to pray for us. It is a sign of spiritual immaturity not to ask for the prayers of the Lord’s people.

Mutual prayer is a feature of the Christian armour. In a sense it is the call of each Christian soldier to other soldiers in the same army to cry to God for help. Each soldier as a role to play and he or she needs the support of others in prayer. This is an important role, of praying for those in other positions. It is a means of participation in the ministry of others.

We have seen five aspects of praying in the Spirit. No doubt, there are others. But our lives will grow spiritually if these aspects become features that mark our prayers.

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