Part I "prayer-starters" "Ephesians Truth" SERIES
Going with Paul into Some of His Most Profound Writing
Day 1—Becoming Utterly Believing Believers
ROMANS 8 has some of the most comforting words ever written. It also has some of the most profoundly challenging. We will examine this passage through my own interpretation of the Received Text of the Greek New Testament.
John 14:10 ...The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.
John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.
FATHER, what a rejoicing is beginning in my heart! Just to know the union that the Lord Jesus has brought between us! What grace! What mercy! What peace! What a hope now is mine! I praise You for the power of the redemption that has brought me into this union with You, and with Your Son.
THE FRUIT THAT COMES WHEN WE ARE JOINED WITH CHRIST—JOHN 15:1-8
Day 2—In Christ Jesus we discover the Law of the Spirit of Life.
Romans 8:1 Therefore, (knowing what was revealed in the foregoing chapters of Romans, we can say), there is no judgment against those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to flesh, but according to Spirit. 2 For the Law of the Spirit of the Life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of the Sin and the Death, (both of which came by Adam and have passed on down to all mankind). 3 For what the Mosaic Law was not able bring to pass, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His Own Son in a likeness of sinful flesh, and on account of sin, brought judgment against the Sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteousness of the Law might be brought to its fullness in us, the ones not walking according flesh, but according to Spirit.
FATHER, I keep seeing it! It’s bursting forth within my soul, more and more each day! It‘s all according to Your mercy and grace! I’ve tried doing it my way, but nothing good ever came of it. Now, I’m letting You do it for me, and in me. I’m believing You like never before. It’s a new way, but, oh, it’s so sweet!
THE WORKS OF THE FLESH GIVE WAY TO THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.—GAL 5:19-25
Day 3—Letting one’s life be led by a carnal way of thinking leads to death.
Romans 8:5 For those who have their beings (who live their lives) according to flesh have a way of thinking that is carnal; 6 but those (who live their lives) according to the Holy Spirit have a way of thinking led by the Spirit. For a frame of mind that is carnal leads to death, but those who have a frame of mind given over to the Holy Spirit have a way of thinking that leads to life and peace.
DEAR LORD, a carnal way of thinking has had its hold in me long enough! I’m tired of thinking thoughts that I really don’t want to have. So, today I give my heart AND MIND over to Your Spirit. Oh, take control now!
FAITH, PEACE AND HOPE CAN NOW BE MINE.—ROMANS 5:1-5
Day 4—It is in Christ Jesus that we discover a new way of thinking, and of living.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal way of thinking is at enmity with God, it is not subject to the Law of God, nor does it have the ability to be so. 8 So, those who have their being in the flesh have no ability to please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit if indeed God’s Spirit is dwelling in you. But if anyone does not have Christ’s Spirit, that one is not of Him.
FATHER, I really do praise You for sending Your Spirit to dwell in us! I’m learning more and more each day that I cannot live for You. I must allow You to live for me.
BECAUSE WE ARE SONS, WE CAN KNOW GOD INTIMATELY.—GAL 4:1-6
Day 5—Carnality is losing its authority in us.
Romans 8:10 But if Christ is in you, the body is dead (it has no authority or ability to live a Spirit-led life) because of sin, but the spirit has come to life through righteousness (that is, the righteousness that becomes ours through Christ Jesus.) 11 But if the Spirit that gave Jesus Life when He was dead is living in you, that same One who raised Christ out of Death’s domain will also give Life to your mortal body, through His Spirit Who lives in you.
DEAR FATHER, the eyes of my understanding are just beginning to see. I’m beginning to see that You sent Your Spirit to live in me. I praise You! When I can’t do what’s demanded of me, You will take over and live in me—even FOR me. So, I’m ready to give myself over into Your powerful hands.
WE CEASE NOT REMEMBERING PAUL’S UNDERSTANDING PAUL ABOUTTHE RESURRECTION.—EPHESIANS 1:15-23
Day 6—What it means to be led by God’s Spirit.
Romans 8:12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you are living according to the dictates of your flesh, you are on the edge of death. But if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will discover real life. 14 For as many as are led by (or, are under the government of) God’s Spirit, these are sons of God.
DEAR LORD, I give myself over to the Government of Your Kingdom. There are so many areas of my life that are out of control. Please, won’t You take control of these matters that are pressing in upon me. Please set me free so I can live in Your Kingdom.
A PRAYER OF DAVID WHEN HIS SPIRIT WAS OVERWHELMED—PS 143:4-12
Day 7—As our relationship with God becomes more intimate, our spiritual boldness grows.
Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of bondage drawing you again into fear, but you have received a Spirit that has made you into a mature son in God’s household. In this we cry out with a loud voice, “Dearest, loving Father!”
LOVING FATHER GOD, how I love You! How I cherish Your Life. Just to know how close we have become makes me want to crawl up into Your arms. I’m ready to rest there and turn these troubles over to You.
WE HAVE BECOME HEIRS IN THE FAMILY OF GOD.—GAL 4:4-7
Day 8—How God’s Spirit bears witness with our spirit.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we have been born into God’s family, 17 and if we have thus been born, we are heirs—heirs of God, and heirs together with Christ. If it so be that we suffer together with Him, we can share together with Him in the glory.
DEAR LORD, I have begun to see that suffering with You is a privilege. It is even releasing a new kind of joy in me that I never knew before. I’m not looking for suffering, but I do thank You for the privilege. Please grant me the grace and wisdom to endure in it.
THE APOSTLES LEARNED TO REJOICE IN SUFFERING. —ACTS 5:12-42
FOLLOWING are some verses difficult for any interpreter. I, personally, believe there is within them the idea of God’s original intention for man that was thwarted by the intrusion of the serpent in the Garden, and by Adam’s rebellion against the Lord God as he submitted himself to the satanic plan. As we continue on, however, we see the travail of creation, joined by the travail of us who believe, helped on, then, by the intervening travail of God’s Spirit. His intervention comes when we no longer know how to pray. The travail in which the Spirit joins with us signals the birth pangs that will bring us on to the “birth” of the Day of Christ. This chapter draws us on toward the conclusion of the Fall and of the Redemption which we began seeing at Romans 1:18 There began a most compelling passage.
Day 9—We rejoice in the purpose toward which the Lord is drawing His sons.
Romans 8:18 For I take in into account that the sufferings of this present season are not worthy of comparison with the glory yet to be revealed unto us. 19 For there is a burning expectation (conforming to God’s will) in all creation as it awaits the revelation of His Sons.
FATHER, I am feeling the joy in being part of Your household of faith. But because of the travail that has begun in my spirit, I need Your help. Some days I cannot understand what’s going on inside me. Weakness tries to overtake me. But, I thank You for the help Your Spirit continues giving me.
PAUL HELPS US LEARN TO PRESS TOWARD THE MARK OF GOD’S HIGH CALLING.—PHIL 3:12-15
Day 10—We lost what God previously designed for us, but He gives us a new hope in Christ.
Romans 8:20 For the sum of all creation has become subject to a state of vanity (retaining nothing that was meant to be by the eternal will of God). 21 (This happened) not willingly, but by the act of One Who also subjected (us, along with all creation) unto a hope. Because of this, creation shall be set free from the bondage of the corruption, to discover the liberty of the glory belonging to those born into God’s household of faith.
FATHER, the full purpose toward which You are drawing us is beyond my understanding. But there is a faith in me that You have laid Your powerful hands on us for a purpose that shall not fail. All the nations shall behold Your glory. Hallelujah!
WHAT IS MAN THAT GOD IS MINDFUL OF HIM?—HEB 2:5-10
Day 11—We join with creation in groaning for our latter day.
Romans 8:22 For we instinctively know that all the creation groans together and travails together right up to the present. 23 And not only so, but we also groan within ourselves, earnestly awaiting our placement as God’s mature sons, meaning, the redemption of our bodies (freedom from the bondage carnality has imposed on us).
FATHER, there is a groaning in my own spirit. I know it is the longing within my heart of hearts to know the liberation to which Your Spirit is calling us. Draw us on, DEAR LORD. Let hope be renewed and strengthened within us while we await our liberation.
WE ARE MADE HOLY BY THE OFFERING OF JESUS. BY HIM WE HAVE A FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH—HEB 10:14-22
Day 12—Hope is kept alive in us by God’s Spirit.
Romans 8:24 For by hope we obtained salvation. But hope that can be seen is not a real hope. For why does anyone hope for something that can already be seen? 25 We hope for things we don’t yet see. Through patience we wait for it. (Thus we are waiting for our full redemption).
FATHER, the hope You placed in my spirit is alive. It is losing all its uncertainty. I know this because of the operation of Your Spirit in my spirit. Please let this new hope spread from me to others, especially these in my family. And to these also...
THROUGH ABRAHAM WE LEARN MUCH ABOUT HOPE.—ROMANS 4:16-21
Day 13—We are facing an hour when we cannot pray as necessity will demand that we pray.
Romans 8:26 In like manner also the Spirit comes within us to stand with us against our weaknesses. For we have no idea how to pray for the things that are necessary, but the Spirit Himself makes strong intercession on our behalf with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
DEAR LORD, my mind cannot form any prayer as I look toward what lies ahead. I’ve lost ability to know how to pray. Please let Your Spirit take over within my spirit and pray for me. I know only He knows what to pray.
“THE CORN OF WHEAT TO MULTIPLY MUST FALL INTO THE GROUND AND DIE.”—JOHN 12:23-28
Day 14—Only the Holy Spirit knows how to make intercession according to God’s will.
Romans 8:27 He Who searches the hearts knows the way the Spirit thinks, because He makes intercession on behalf of the saints according to the will of God.
DEAR FATHER, I know that only Your Spirit knows the way that is right for us in this hour. Because He knows Your will, I yield my way to the leading of Your Spirit. Please cause Him to keep me in the way that is right.
THE SECRET OF THE LORD IS WITH THEM THAT FEAR HIM.—PS 25:1-22
Day 15—Growing in Our Ability to Trust God
Romans 8:27 For we know in a way that cannot be denied that the combined energy of all things—things good, bad, indifferent—work together as one, bringing to pass what is good for those who love God, the ones called for His purpose.
GRACIOUS LORD, sometimes lately it’s been difficult for me to see how any good could come from what has been happening in our family. But, today I am ready to give up that way of thinking. I give up my tendency to worry and trust You to bring good out of this latest trial.
TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART.—PRO 3:5-10
Day 16—God made Jesus to be the firstbornamong many brethren.
Romans 8:29 God made a prior design for those He knew beforehand so they could be conformed to the likeness of His Son. Then Jesus would be the first born in the midst of many brethren. 30 Whom God previously designed, He also called. Whom He called, He also justified. And whom He justified, them He also gave a place in His glory.
DEAR LORD, what a calling You have put on our lives! It is astounding to my mind that You have called me and kept Your hand on me. I have not been worthy of Your loving care. So I praise You for Your mercy.
A LESSON FROM DAVID IN GLORIFYING THE LORD—PS 86:1-17
Day 17—God demonstrated His love toward us by giving up His Son.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Seeing that He spared not His Own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not freely give us all things with Him?
FATHER, I thank You! Oh, I thank You for the love You showed toward us who are so unworthy! Please help me, and these of my family, to show our appreciation toward You. How can we do this? By giving our all? Only You can help us do this.
GOD’S KINGDOM REQUIRES OUR ALL.—MATT 13:44-46
Day 18—God never deserts those He has redeemed.
Romans 8:33 Who will come forward with a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who can bring any judgment? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that has been raised, Who also is at the right hand of God, Who also makes intercession for us.
FATHER, when I see Your Love reaching for me it amazes me. Please help me, and these of my family, to show love toward You. How can we do this? By loving someone you love, even if we don’t love them? Please help us all in doing this.
GOD’S REDEEMING LOVE TRANSFERS TO US.—MATT 5:43-48
Day 19—God demonstrated His love toward us by giving up His Son.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the Love of God? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or the sword of warfare? 36 Just as it has been written, We have been put to death all the day long. We have been reckoned as sheep for the slaughter (Ps 44:22). 37 Notwithstanding, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us.
DEAR LORD, loving these people is where You come in. I can’t do it! But You can! You loved them just as much as You loved me when You gave Your only begotten Son. Please don’t let me despise someone You loved so much.
GOD’S KINGDOM REQUIRES OUR ALL.—MATT 13:44-46
Day 20—God’s love reaches us through every trial and tragedy of life.
Romans 8:38 For I have been persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 neither height, nor depth, not any other created thing will have the ability to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
FATHER, I’m beginning to see that Your love will move in my own heart when I let it move through me to reach these I haven’t loved before.
GOD’S GREAT LOVE WILL REACH US EVEN THROUGH THE AGES TOCOME.—EPHESIANS 2:4-10
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