Posted by: thaishin | January 30, 2016

Humble and Dependent Attitude in Prayer

Teachings from Dr Michael Rydelnik on January 23, 2016 on open line moody radio:

Ephesians 3

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, …  -kjv

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray …  -niv

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. 16 I pray  … -hcsb

In Ephesians 3:14-21,  Paul is actually praying for the Ephesians and he is praying that they will live according to their spiritual wealth. In Ephesians 1 to 3, Paul reveals all the spiritual riches, all the spiritual wealth we have as believers and then he transitions in Ephesians 3:14-21 as to how we should live as believers, how we are to live in light of that spiritual wealth. At the end of the entire discussion about the wealth of a believer, the riches that we have in the Messiah Jesus, Paul in Ephesians 3:14, says for this reason I bow my knees to the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth is named and I pray and he begins his prayer. In Ephesians 4, he picks up and talks about what our responsibilities are in light of our riches.

For the next week few weeks, we are going to go through Ephesians 3:14-21 and learn some principles of prayer because Paul’s prayer is the model for our prayers. If we are to pray for ourselves and for others and to experience all that God  has for us and to live in light of  the wealth that God has for us, this would be a great model for our prayers.

Paul is declaring  in Ephesians 3:14 that for this reason, in light of the spiritual riches that we have, and describes the way that we should pray, basically to have a needy attitude when praying. The first part of a needy attitude is a humble attitude as in I bow my knees in Ephesians 3:14. The typical Jew in the first century do not bow their knees to pray. Generally the Jewish way to pray was to have their heads up, eyes open and arms lifted up and so bowing became quite rare. The reason is bowing was sometimes taken to mean bowing before an idol and people did not want to reflect that idea. However, the idea of bowing is really a reflection of a humble attitude and is a picture of someone bowing before a king. So, Paul is not literally bowing but is saying that he is praying from a position of need, a position of humility and that he is coming as a humble person before the king of the universe. Besides having a humble attitude, if we are to pray with a needy attitude, we also need to have a dependent attitude. Paul calls God as Father in Ephesians 3:14. So often we think we call God our Father because that’s what we do in our families and we get the idea of God our father from families. Actually, what Paul is saying here is that it is the opposite, because there is a heavenly father, our families have fathers, that is it is a reflection of who God is, that we have a tangible earthly reflection of what that relationship ought to be. Every family on earth gets their name from their father. The idea is we come before God as our father because we are needy children, we are dependent children. So we have to have a dependent attitude on Him. Jesus talked about having that kind of attitude with our Father when we pray when he talked about it in Matthew 7:9-11. God wants us to be dependent on him, He want us to turn to Him and then He can help us.

Matthew 7

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?  -kjv

 

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Responses

  1. very good thoughts!!

  2. Thai Shin…this is very humbling and wonderful work from Paul. As far as myself I really learned how to humbly pray during the past 3 months when my pain level has been terrible. Everything around us including people seem to change when we come to the point we are ready to “fall into the well” and we no longer can do physically for ourself but MUST depend on Jesus.


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