An Orthodox, Biblical Style of Prayer

In just one verse that’s 31 words long Paul explains what the general character of a believer’s prayer life should look like.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but prayer is not the pill that cures everything.

Neither is it the mechanism you use to tax God when your feet are cold or your PC crashes or your girlfriend dumps you.

It’s deeper than that.

In just one verse that’s 31 words long Paul explains what the general character of a believer’s prayer life should look like.

The verse is :

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.

This is orthodox, biblical prayer. Let’s break the verse down.

1. All prayer and petition.

Indeed, we do bring all our requests to God, whether for obtaining blessings or averting the evil we fear. But there’ a catch.

2.  At all times.

The King James version translates “always.” And the Greek translation for always is “in every season.” In other words, not just when things are going poorly. Take every opportunity to pray–good or bad. And do it with urgency.

3. In the Spirit.

Charismatics think “tongues.” This is not what Paul meant. Paul meant under the influence of the Spirit. In submission to the Spirit. Guided by the voice of God. We , so we look to the Spirit to align us with God’s will. He teaches what we should pray for.

4. On the alert.

This is the manner in which we pray: Sober. Eyes-wide open. Aware of our surroundings. . Our enemy. The . Catastrophes won’t blindside you. Temptations won’t sweep you off your feet. And heaven will always hang in your vision.

5. With all perseverance.

The stamina involved in orthodox biblical prayer consists of constant, relentless training. Day in. Day out. Never ceasing.

6. Petition for all saints.

These are your objects of prayer: Brothers and sisters in Christ. Those strong in the faith. Those weak in the faith. Those who preach and teach, who plant and support. All saints, everywhere.

In a nutshell, Paul’s orthodox style of prayer looks like this: While we are urged to communicate to God all our needs and desires on a chronic basis, over time these requests will be shaped by the will of God whose constant influence on our lives grows as we stand in a watchful, alert posture.

So, how does your prayer life measure up to this standard?

Mine? Not even close. But that just means you have an opportunity to practice this biblical style of praying.

By the way, feel free to share your prayer needs–or those of someone you know–and I’ll promise to pray. Looking forward to your comments.

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