18 "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people."
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
I watched a college basketball game yesterday. It was easy. There was plenty to choose from … a 24-hour televised hoops marathon became the buffet … 60 weekday games in one day. That made for maximum exposure.
God's Word also alerts us to some maximum levels He wants our prayer life to reach. In one single verse He lays so much of it out. Wanna know the maximizing prompts? Here they are:
PREVAILING PRAYER. The charge to pray in Ephesians 6:18 immediately follows the subject of spiritual warfare. It attaches prayer to battle, not as simply one more armor piece to carry, but as an object so crucial that it must make an important appearance in every aspect of the fray.
Prayer brings strength and vision to the fight. Prayer needs to completely cover both the war and the warriors.
SPIRIT PRAYER. God wants our spirits aligned with His as we pray. That's why He says, “Pray in the Spirit.” This may require of us to say less so that His Spirit can say more.
PERVADING PRAYER. Our prayers must hit ALL categories, ALL occasions, ALL kinds of requests, and for ALL kinds of people (friends and enemies).
Our prayers must be about more than ourselves. We can't just routinely say table graces, openings/closings of meetings, emergencies and bedtime moments. Our prayers must have a universal, pervading-everything feel.
WATCHFUL PRAYER. Scripture says to be alert as we pray. That means prayer should keep us awake and watchful, not put us to sleep. Prayer fuels a vigilant man or woman. And a vigilant one prays.
FYI, the words ”watch” and “pray” are mentioned together numerous times in the Scriptures. That repetition says something.
DEPENDENT PRAYER. When we pray, we petition Another to take rank with us. We are not to go it alone in war times or in peace. Prayer expresses our dependence on God.
Reflect: How covered are you? Are you prayed up as you face enemies? How much silence and Spirit-space do you create in prayer? Are you listening when you pray? How vigilant is your prayer life?
A prayer to consider: LORD, thank you for this call to higher-ground prayer. Take me to this sweet communion and powerful living. Don't let me shrink back or think I'm already maxed out.
I long for my prayers to be prevailing, pervading, watchful, dependent and Spirit-led. May I experience a max prayer life like that of Jesus.