Prayer review, Part 3: introduction; John 15:16

Class Outline:

Title: Prayer review, Part 3: introduction; John 15:16.


j. What legitimate and illegitimate prayer?


There are enough examples of this that we will take them in segments throughout our study of this doctrine.


God’s program for victory in the lives of His creatures does not depend on prayer, for that would make Him dependent on us. The victory of any creature depends ultimately on his positive volition towards what God has done on his behalf.


Prayer is a result of spiritual victory and never the means. We may pray for a specific assistance for ourselves or others, but this does not ensure victory.


Prayer for spiritual enlightenment, EPH 1:18.


EPH 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that [purpose clause - the subsequent wisdom is a result of the prayer, or the hope of it in the petitioner] you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,


EPH 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.


Prayer for deep insight into the mystery doctrine for the Church, EPH 3:14.


EPH 3:14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,


EPH 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,


EPH 3:16 that [purpose clause; all that follows is not the prayer but the result of the prayer, so what did he pray for?] He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;


EPH 3:17 so that [not in original] Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,


EPH 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,


EPH 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.


EPH 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, [what follows is the result of this understanding]


God, as the Master of circumstances, can do all kinds of things that we wouldn't even think of to help the one prayed for to understand Paul's insight into the mystery of Christ.


Prayer for communicators [blanket], EPH 6:19.


EPH 6:19 and pray on my behalf, that [purpose clause] utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,


Prayer for a believer to press on, Phil 1:9.


Phil 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,


Phil 1:10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;


Phil 1:11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.


This is not a prayer for someone to have agape love, that would be impossible with prayer, yet:


This is a prayer for the one who has agape love, for it to excel more in metabolized doctrine and discernment.

In other words the prayer is for the believer to recognize that his love must always improve through doctrine and understanding of its uniqueness as a virtue.


Prayer for positive believers to further understand the richness of doctrine, COL 1:9.


COL 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge [epignosis] of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,


A prayer like this is not going to magically fill their souls with metabolized knowledge obviously. Therefore it is a prayer for a believer that is already receiving knowledge and by faith is metabolizing it. Filled, pleroo, means to fill up a deficiency, or to fill with a certain quality. This prayer is for the positive believers to further see the richness of what they are learning and God, the master of circumstances, will find a way to further emphasize that in their lives.


COL 1:10 so that [purpose clause] you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;


COL 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously COL 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.


Prayer for the relief of the afflicted, 2 Thess 1:11.


2 Thess 1:11 To this end also we pray for you always that [hina - purpose clause] our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power;


The end to which they are praying is relief from affliction and not being counted worthy, which is an illegitimate prayer.


2 Thess 1:6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,


2 Thess 1:7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted [stop] and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire [the rest up to verse 11 is parenthetical concerning the unbeliever],