We desire to learn to Pray…Once we learn the Biblical Method of Praying we are bless to receive the instructions that was taught to us…Then comes the hard part—the application. What do you mean Manuel?
In my last article, “Praying for Inner Strength and Love” we spoke about the Apostle Paul’s Intercessory Prayer he made on behalf of the Church of Ephesus. I shared it in the Amplified Translation, I also outlined it, and then I personified the Prayer so we may learn how to Pray this Prayer for ourselves. Learning how to Pray this Prayer is one step, Practicing this Prayer is the second step so we may experience the answer to this Prayer.
1. First--Paul asked God to bless the Church of Ephesus with Inner Strength and Love. We can also ask God to bless our Church we attend with Inner Strength and Love.
2. Second—We may also Personify the Prayer so we can be Anointed with Inner Strength and Love ourselves individually (that is, we may Pray Ephesians 3:14-19 NKJV for ourselves.)
3. Thirdly—then we must do our best to go out and Apply the Love we have been bless with and demonstrate it to others. This is the focus of this article—which is the practical part we must do after we Pray for Inner Strength and Love.
Faith Activates the Power of God
It requires a step of faith to activate the Anointing of God on our lives to demonstrate God’s Strength and Love. I shared in the article “Expressions of Love”, how God told me to preach about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and I spoke with the assistant Pastor he granted me the green light. But the Senior Pastor wasn’t around and walked in during services and after the service the following day I was called into the Pastors office and given the Pharisee treatment and then kicked out of Prayer services and Bible studies. I continued to go to Sunday services and was asked to build an audio cabinet and a pulpit by the assistant Pastor. I built it and brought it to the Church and the Senior Pastor took them in and slammed the door on me without thanking me for the furniture I built back in 1993. It wasn’t until July 1996 that the Senior Pastor allowed me to come back and teach Bibles studies. This was a long enduring practice of Love that needed to be demonstrated for the Glory of God.
When we Pray for Inner Strength and Love we are expected by God to demonstrate it when we are challenged to apply the Love that’s needed in any given situation when it presents itself. Over the years I learned that when we are introduced to something new in the Bible if it’s the topic of Love, Dreams, or Angels then we will encounter the opportunity to Apply the Love we learned about, or experience a Dream given to us by God with some powerful instructions, or after being taught about Angels we will be granted a supernatural visitation of an Angelic being appearing to us. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God over and over until we spiritually catch the revelation of what is being taught (See, Romans 10:8-17 NKJV, where Paul speaks about faith for Salvation and how it comes into our lives).The same applies to every other area of Christian living no matter what the topic is, the more we hear it the more faith comes into our hearts to live and experience the blessing that goes along with that teaching or topic.
Paul on the Topic of Love
The interesting thing about the Apostle Paul is that he doesn’t only teach about Praying for Inner Strength and Love only—Paul clearly teaches about many applications of Love in the same Letter to the Church of Ephesus that we must dig out and learn how to exercise that Love. Paul mentions the word Love a total of 19 times in the Book of Ephesus. In the King James Version we have Love, Loved and Loveth.
1. Love is mentioned 14 times in the Book of Ephesians
2. Loved is mentioned 3 times in the same Book of Ephesians
3. Loveth is mentioned 2 times (if we are reading the King James version)
So that is a total of 19 times that Paul spoke about the topic of Love in the Book of Ephesians and the many areas of application.
Paul mentioned the application of Agape (Love—being demonstrated in a Church setting toward other believers 11 times). Then Paul mentions the application of Agapeo (Love—being demonstrated as if God is demonstrating His Love toward us 3 times). So we are taught to Love in a brotherly and community manner. Then we are taught to Love as God Loved us when we were yet sinners and disobedient to Him. This is Powerful and challenging to do but when we Pray for Inner Strength and Love we should believe and be Divinely motivated to apply the godly Love God calls us to exercise no matter how emotionally disappointed we are with the person that did us wrong. I know it’s hard, it was hard for me when I built those pieces for the Church only to get the door slammed on my face again by the Senior Pastor.
However, God said to me, you built it for ME and the Church they really needed it. After the Senior Pastor and you are gone the furniture will still be utilized by the other believers who will take over the Church. The other thing that helped me to exercise Love was the Old Testament story of David and King Saul. Saul tried to kill David numerous times. Yet the Bible says that David behave himself wisely 4 times (1 Samuel 18: 5, 14, 15, and 30 NKJV). You see, we sometimes remain stuck on the initial offense and disappointment and fail to see the big picture of the Love that will endure for a longer duration. Paul gave us some characteristics of Love and said, Love suffers long and is kind; Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil (1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NKJV).
David could have protested against Saul’s acts or even killed him while in the palace, but David behaved himself wisely knowing God had a bigger Calling on his life and he can’t allow Saul’s jealousy and bitterness stop him from being the man of God—God was training him to be. After encountering what I did with the Pastor, for days I was tormented with the—why did he do this to me? The entire event kept playing over and over again in my mind and it kept me depressed and discouraged. But after reading the story with David I caught a revelation of Scripture that paralleled to my situation and I concluded that this is part of the package and journey for a true servant of God to experience the trials and tests to mature them to the platform that God wants them to function on.
Practices of Love in the Book of Ephesians
Paul taught us how we are to demonstrate our Love as believers;
1. We are to be holy and blameless in God’s Love (Eph. 1:4 NKJV)
2. Paul heard about the Church of Ephesus and their Love they demonstrated to all the saints when he initially began writing this letter to them (Eph. 1:15 NKJV)
3. God’s Mercy demonstrated His Love toward us even when we were sinners (Eph. 2:4 NKJV)
4. Paul taught us to Pray that we be strengthen to be rooted and grounded in God’s Love (Eph. 3:17, 19 NKJV)
5. Paul taught that we should forbear each other in Love (Eph. 4:2 NKJV)
6. Paul said we should speak the Truth (The Word of God) in Love so we can build each other up (Eph. 4:15-16 NKJV)
7. Paul said to walk in Love (Eph. 5:2 NKJV). This means, when the other believer isn’t walking in Love then we should. Remember God is dealing with our personal spiritual growth. God will deal with the other believer who did you wrong they may actually repent and see they are wrong and ask for your forgiveness or God will just have to put it on them (like we say in the ghetto).
8. Paul taught Husbands to Love their wives as Christ Loved the Church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25, 28, and 33 NKJV) I have a lot of testimonies here also about loving my wife when she wasn’t cooperative and unfair when I didn’t do anything. I will save those stories when God moves me to teach on relationships in the near future.
9. Finally, Paul proclaimed Grace and Peace toward all those who Love the Lord (Ephesians 6:23-24 NKJV)
So there are a lot of blessings we can experience if we willingly Pray for Inner Strength and Love and then do our part by practicing the Biblical art of Loving as we are taught by the Apostle Paul. I’m a living witness that it works and it will continue to work as long as we are on the earth. Believe me we will be challenged over and over again in this area and the devils job is to see to it that we fail all the time. But we have the victory through Christ Jesus and we can do all things through Him who will Strengthen us each and every time until Jesus returns Amen.