Tuesday, June 25, 2013
When You Don't Know What to Pray For
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Romans 8:26 (ESV)
(Explanation for verse Romans 8:26 from The MacArthur Study Bible, page 1664, "8:26 Likewise. As the creation (v. 22) and believers (v.23) both groan for ultimate restoration, the Spirit does as well. groanings too deep for words. Divine articulations within the Trinity that cannot be expressed in words, but carry profound appeals for the welfare of every believer (cf. 1 Cor. 2:11). This work of the Holy Spirit parallels the high-priestly work of intercession by the Lord Jesus on behalf of believers (see Heb. 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 7:24-26)
"For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 2:11 (ESV)
"Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name. Your kingdom come your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:9-14 (ESV)
(Explanation for Matthew 6:15 from the MacArther Study Bible, page 1370: "Matthew 6:15 neither will your Father forgive your tresspasses. This is not to suggest that God will withdraw justification from those who have already received the free pardon he extends to all believers. Forgiveness in that sense--a permanent and complete acquittal from the guilt and ultimate penalty of sin--belongs to all who are in Christ (cf. John 5:24; Rom. 8:1; Eph. 1:7). Yet, Scripture also teaches that God chastens his children who disobey (Heb. 12:5-7). Believers are to confess their sins in order to obtain a day-to-day cleansing (1 John 1:9). This sort of forgiveness is a simple washing from the worldly defilements of sin, not a repeat of the wholesale cleansing from sin's corruption that comes with justification. It is like a washing of the feet rather than a bath (cf. John 13:10)). Forgiveness in this latter sense is what God threatens to withhold from Christians who refuse to forgive others (cf. Matt. 18:23-25)"
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
(Explanation for 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 from The MacArthur Study Bible page 1802:
1 Thess. 5:16, Rejoice. Joy is appropriate at all times. Cf. Phil. 2:17-18; 3:1; 4:4
1 Thess. 5:17, Pray. This does not mean pray repetitiously or continuously without a break (cf. Matt. 6:7-8), but rather pray persistently (cf. Luke 11:1-13, 18:1-8) and regularly (cf. Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6; Col 4:2, 12).
1 Thess. 5:18, Give thanks. Thanklessness is a trait of unbelievers (cf. Rom. 1:21; 2 Tim 3:1-5). "This is the will of God" includes 1 Thess 5:16-17)
Let's pray: Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up those in prayer reading Your Word today. I pray that all of us will forgive others and be thankful to You for everything we have. I pray for those reading these Bible verses who are unsaved. I pray for their salvation and that the truth in Jesus will set them free. In Jesus' name. Amen.