LESSON 3: DEPTH IN DEVOTION
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
One of the greatest lessons which we may learn from the life of Apostle Paul is that of depth in his devotional life. This may be accessed through a study of the prayers of Paul. Most of our prayers are focused on our physical needs but the prayers of Paul are so rich, thereby demonstrating the depth of his spiritual life. In this study, we are going to look at some of the major areas that Paul prayed over.
B. PAUL PRAYED FOR GODLY LIVING.
Study the following scriptures and comment on their meaning and implications on the life of the believer.
i. Phil.1:9-11. What are the things that are excellent in the life of a believer?
ii. Phil.4: 8-10. Take some time to look at the points that Paul asks you to meditate on, in this scripture. What was does v.9 reveal to you about the character of Apostle Paul?
iii.1Thess. 3:12-13. Paul prays in v.13, ‘…that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness’ What in your own words does the statement mean?
iv. 1Thess. 5:23. Please comment on this scripture.
v. 2Thess. 1:11. How do you understand the prayer of Paul in this scripture?
vi. 1Tim.2:1-3. In this scripture, part of godly living is to pray for those in authority. Why is this important?
C. PAUL PRAYED FOR KNOWLEDGE.
Another area of focus in the prayers of Paul, are the prayers for knowledge. A careful look at his epistles reveal his belief that knowledge is important for depth in spiritual matters. Take time to ponder and discuss the following prayers of for knowledge;
i. Prayers for increased knowledge of the LORD: Eph.1:17; Phil.3:8-10
ii. Prayers for the knowledge of His will: Phil.1:9&10; Col.1:9.
iii.Prayers for the knowledge of His love: Eph.3:17-19.
iv.Prayers for the knowledge of the hope of His calling and the riches that we have in Him: Eph.1:18; Phile.1:6.
vi.Prayers for the knowledge of His power: Eph.1:18-22
vii. In your own words, why do you think that knowledge is important in the things of God? ( For instance, if you don’t know the knowledge of the will of God, you will be praying amiss)
D. PAUL PRAYED FOR GRACE AND PEACE.
Prayers for grace and peace are so prominent in the epistles of Paul. Check the following scriptures;
1Cor.1:3; 2Cor.1:2; 2Cor.13:14; Gal.1:3; Gal.6:18; Eph.1:2;
Eph.6:23-24; Phil.1:2; Phil.4:23; 1Thess.1:1b
1Thess.5:28; 2Thess.1:2; Tit.1:4; Phile.1:3; 2Thess.3:16.
i. Grace is defined as God’s unmerited favor. It is such an important concept in the Bible that it is mentioned up to 170 times. It means God doing for us things we don’t deserve. Grace may also be viewed as God’s sufficiency or God’s fullness in the life of the believer(2Cor.12:9; 2Cor.9:8) Why do you think that Paul was always praying for grace on behalf of the believers in his epistles?
ii. Peace in a general sense is a state of quietness and freedom from agitations or disturbance by the passions such as fear, terror, anger, anxiety or the like. How important is peace to the growth of your relationship with God?
The prayers of Apostle Paul in his epistles is a demonstration of his depth in walking with God. His devotional life must have really been deep going by the amount of unselfish prayers he prayed for the saints and for himself. How is your own prayer life? Is it just about physical things you want God to do for you or mainly about the unseen things (2Cor.4:18)