Home / Inspirational Messages / PRESSING TOWARD THE MARK



I confess that prayer is one of the most difficult topics for me to preach about because it is a difficult subject for me to understand and practice. On the one hand, I know that the only reason God has enabled me to persevere as a pastor for almost 32 years now is His grace that has come to me through the prayers of His people and through my own desperate cries to Him for help. Not a week goes by without my feeling overwhelmingly inadequate for this ministry. I could not endure without prayer.

Yet on the other hand, the longer I am a Christian, the more acutely I am aware of my own shortcomings in prayer. I read great men of God like Martyn Lloyd-Jones (The Christian Soldier [Baker], p. 342), who says that prayer should be a delight for the believer. But I honestly find prayer to be increasingly difficult and somewhat frustrating. I seem to receive more negative answers to my prayers than positive ones. Lloyd-Jones says that we should devote much time to prayer, but I honestly find it very difficult to pray for long periods of time. I run out of things to say. I share this because I don’t want you to think as I preach on prayer that I’ve got it all together. I’m a fellow struggler with you in this battle. So I’m preaching this message to myself first of all.

Paul uses the word all four times in verse 18. In addition, he tells us that we are to pray “in the Spirit.” These five points will be our outline. The final all is that we should pray “for all the saints.” Verses 19-20 specifically apply this, as Paul asks for prayer for himself, that he would be bold and faithful in proclaiming the gospel.

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