The Weapons of our Warfare 2 Prayer – Session 2 Priorities in Prayer

The High Priestly Prayer of the Lord Jesus

John 17 – God’s Glory, unity in His people – He comes as a Royal Son (a position that we have been adopted into), not begging or pleading, but totally aligned with the Will of God

  • V. 1-5 God’s Glory and the Glory of the Son in His finishing the work
    • V.6-8 The disciples acceptance of His word
    • V.9-11 Prayer for the disciples’ unity
    • V.12-15 Prayer for protection for the disciples
    • V.16-19 Prayer for the disciples sanctification
    • V.20-23 Prayer for those who would believe in the future, especially for Jesus’ glory to be seen in their unity, so that their witness would be effective
    • V.24 Prayer for the believers’ glorification – the long-term objective
    • V.25-26 Prayer that their knowledge of the Father will result in them being filled with the love of God and the power of Christ indwelling them

Interesting to see what Jesus doesn’t pray for

  • The world v.9
    • For the disciples to be delivered from difficulties by being taken out of the world v.15
    • For their health, wealth or success
    • For their families and communities to prosper
  • Paul framework
    • Constant prayer           }

} for grace, faith, love, perseverance under trial

  • Constant thanksgiving }
  • Paul’s priorities:
    • Thanks for the Roman Christians’ faith, for their spiritual gifts to increase and for them to be built up and enjoy mutual strengthening Rom. 1:8-12 (and only in that context, for a successful journey for himself to them)
    • Israel might be saved Rom. 10:1
    • We will have the spirit of unity so that we might glorify God Rom. 15:5-6
    • We might overflow with hope Rom. 15:13
    • For his planned trip to Jerusalem Rom. 15:30-33
    • Thanksgiving for spiritual gifts 1 Cor. 1:4-9
    • For God’s purpose in suffering 2 Cor. 1:3-7
    • Praising God for spiritual blessings Eph. 1:3ff
    • For wisdom and revelation , enlightenment  Eph. 1:15-23
    • For spiritual strength, love and power Eph. 3:14-21
    • For partnership in the Gospel Phil. 1:3-6
    • For abounding love, discernment and fruit of righteousness Phil. 1:9-11
    • For believers to be pleasing to God, the knowledge of His will, spiritual wisdom and understanding, knowledge of God, enduring patience Col. 1:3-14
    • For an open door for the gospel, even though he was in chains Col. 4:2-4
    • Thanksgiving for the believers faith, love and hope 1 Thess. 1:2-3
    • For their love to overflow, God to strengthen their hearts and for them to be blameless 1 Thess. 3:9-13
    • For them to be kept blameless unto the Coming the Lord Jesus 1 Thess. 5:23-24
    • For the believers’ perseverance and faith in the face of trials so that they might be counted worthy of their calling and glorify God in it  2 Thess. 1:11-12
    • For them to be strengthened in every good work and word 2 Thess. 2:16-17
    • For those in authority, for stability so that everyone has the opportunity to be saved  1 Tim. 2:1-4
    • For Philemon to be active in sharing his faith, so that he would have full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ Philemon 1:4-7

In summary: What is good for others by God’s definition not human thinking or sentiment! Rom. 8:29

Interesting to note what he does NOT pray for

  • His health
  • The health of others known to be sick – Timothy, Trophimus, Epaphroditus
  • His own finances
  • The financial blessing of others

He does ask for prayer for:

  • Deliverance from evil men thwarting God’s purpose for him Rom. 15:30-31
  • That he and the church will have joy and encouragement Rom. 15:32
  • That he would be given power in preaching and teaching Eph. 6:19
  • To be prayed for 1 Thess.5:25
  • That the Word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honoured and that he and his companions might be delivered from wicked and harmful men 2 Thess. 3:1-2

Seen in 2 Thess. ch. 1 Framework of prayer

  1. V.11 Therefore – with this in mind, to this end – with what in mind? Vv.3-10
    1. V.3 we ought = the necessity, an obligation, a priority – what kind of prayer?
      1. Thanksgiving – recognises out dependence on God & puts us in our proper role, as dependents and supplicants Phil 4:6
      1. Thanks for what? Food, gifts, provisions, safety, success? NO – that their
        1. Faith is growing – on-going reliance and fidelity
        1. Mutual love is increasing John 13:34-35 – infallible sign of God’s grace
        1. Perseverance under trial
      1. Set our hearts on things above Col. 3:1 where your treasure (Christ) is Matt. 6:19-21
      1. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness
    1. V.5 More thanksgiving – all this is evidence of the rightness of God’s choice to account them worthy of the kingdom, for which they suffer. Is that evidence in our prayers and thanksgiving?
    1. V.7 And that is seen in their vindication and other’s retribution,
    1. vv.8-10 – taking the long view

How many of my prayers are framed by that?! Are we distracted by our own needs and the needs of others? Has the enemy got us so self-obsessed that we have lost sight of the objectives? (Next week, strategy and tactics)

  • V.11 he moves on to requests
    • That they would be worthy of God’s calling through His strength – we weren’t worthy when we were called and can never earn our salvation, but we are to be conformed by it
    • That God will bring to fruition our purposes and plans – which he calls ‘good’
      • Eph. 2:10 (foreordained)
      • Phil.2:12-13 God working in us
      • Goals shaped by the knowledge of God and His purposes
      • Then “every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith” will be God’s
  • V.12a the goal of the prayer
    • Not to be successful, wealthy, healthy, popular, brilliant, triumphant, happy of beautiful or our problems to disappear
    • But that the Name of the Lord Jesus might be glorified in all that we do
    • And that they might be glorified in Him – from glory to glory 2 Cor. 3:18 incremental steps, so when we reach our destination, the shock of total transformation is reduced a bit
  • V.12b The ground of his prayer = grace