North Anderson Baptist Church
Praying That the Light Might Shine Through the Darkness
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
This is the last of the messages on Intercessory Prayer. Throughout all these messages we have tried to point out that prayer is the greatest factor, outside of the power of the resurrection, to push back the darkness in our lives or in the lives of others who are seeking to do the work of the Lord. As we pray, we are calling upon the Lord of the resurrection with all His power and plan to hold us in the palm of His hand, so we might not be overcome by the darkness of the devil. When the light of the Lord shines into our lives we see the truth of the wickedness and can deal with that issue whatever the need. The following scripture tells us of the prayer that Paul prayed for the Ephesian Christians so that they may have God provide for their needs. Darkness is all around us and we do need others praying for us, so that we can prevail over “the schemes of the devil."
1) Pray for others regularly - v.16
Paul says he prayed for the church at Ephesus all the time. He gave thanks for them and what they meant to the Kingdom of God and him. Who in your life do you need to regularly pray for? Can you think of others, church friends, family members, work related friends, and even enemies that you need to place on a list to pray for? There will always be people who will come and go that you will pray for but you need to have a list of those whom you constantly and regularly pray for. Think now of those, take a moment, and jot them down on an envelop in front of you, in your notes or even in your phone. Compile that list and begin today regularly praying for them just like Paul did. By the way, the Ephesian church members were not the only ones for which Paul regularly prayed.
2) Who are your prayers directed to? - v. 17
Notice Paul speaks to the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul addresses his prayer to the Father, God of the Lord Jesus Christ, and while doing that he asks God to have the Spirit to grant “wisdom and revelation” to the readers of his letter so that they will “know” God better. Wow! Wouldn't you like to know God better? Paul prayed that pray for others; couldn't you pray that for others too? Wouldn't it be a great idea to ask God to have the Spirit grant to everyone on your list wisdom and revelation? What is Paul asking God to do for those who read his letter? He is asking the Lord to grant wisdom to know God better which comes from the Spirit and involves study of the Word of God, Old Testament and Gospels, for the Ephesians believers. Revelation would be the divine impartation to believers of the secrets and mysteries of God that comes from the Spirit of God, whom Paul says it is through Him that the believer would gain that knowledge. Also, it just might be that he is asking the Spirit of God to reveal the truths of the letters and writings of those who know God intimately. Regardless of how the wisdom and revelation is obtained, we know that Paul says God the Father is the author of both, as well as the knowledge one gains of God and the life He desires us to live.
3. Paul prays for eyes of the heart to be open- v. 18
Besides getting to know God better, Paul desires that his readers have the light of the Lord God open the eyes of their hearts to “the hope to which they were called.” Paul called unto God to “enlighten” the eyes of their hearts. In the darkness of this world God’s light can shine upon each of His children to know through His revelation and wisdom, how to live and walk so that the darkness does not prevail. Paul shares in that passage of chapter 6 which we looked at last week, how to stand against the evil of the darkness of satan. We have been enlightened by His Spirit to God’s purpose and plan for us in spite of what satan has planned.
Each of us who are saved have been granted the hope of God. That hope is not like the world “hopes” the wishing all will go well and just not knowing, but Paul is saying the hope of God is the true assurance that the things of God and His words are true and will come to pass with victory for the children of God and the glory of the Father.
The world lives on false hope; even those around you who do not know God are living in a hope given to them by things and “stuff” that can not last and from people, who have no truth as their foundation. What is the temperature of the world today? Wars and more wars and impending doom, sorrow and tragedies left and right. There is no hope for some people and the world, in general, seems to be a hopeless place too.
How does the Christian live in this kind of world? Paul knew the people of his day lived in a world much like ours, and without Christ there was no hope, and people who were in power did not live a life or rule with truth and righteousness.
Regardless of how lost one is, if you pray for them, that their lives will be touched by the light of the Holy Spirit so that the darkness can be rolled back, then God will touch those for whom you pray.
A Scotchman said that he was an intensely worldly man and never found satisfaction in life. When my father died, who was a delightful Christian, I went through his papers and saw that he had given large sums of money to Mr. Mueller’s orphanage. I said, “I am sure my father would like me to help that work. I will go down.’ I went to the orphanage and they were having a revival for the boys and girls, so I listened to the message. God saved me. They said, “We are not surprised, for at this Home, for thirty-eight years, Mr. Mueller never ceased to pray for you.” (The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16)
We are to pray that those without hope come to know personally through salvation the “Hope of Glory, Jesus Christ.”
How is our hope to be understood and experienced? As in the Christian’s lives in Paul’s day, we today all receive this same kind of hope through the working of the Holy Spirit of God living in us and imparting to His children the truths of His Word. We were called not to the world of despair but to this hope, for Christ is the “Hope of Glory.” Hope is a person, hope is Christ! When He is in your life nothing can take away the expectations of the life God desires us to live.
Hope is not the only thing in which we need enlightening, we also are called to understand “the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” When I think of the inheritance of the Christian, I think of the truth that Peter wrote about in 1 Peter 1:3-6,
If we can truly understand, be enlightened, about the future inheritance we have waiting for us, then we will live in joy and anticipation of what is to come, that we will rejoice as we live day by day in what He has waiting for us when we die or when He returns again to get His children.
Paul wants the Holy Spirit to reveal to us these wonderful truths that our lives may be lived to impact the lives of others and that the darkness of the evil one’s schemes can be pushed back in prayer for others and by the revelation of the truth to all who will hear! Yours and my prayers for others on this new list we have, are to help them see God’s great blessings in a new light so they too can push back the darkness in their lives and in the lives of those they pray for too.

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com