About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Biblically Balanced Prayer  


From my earliest recollection as a child I recall being in countless prayer meetings.  Prayers have been offered from the full gamut of prayer styles; from simply talking to Jesus about anything and everything to heavy-duty, Spirit empowered, intercession. 


One thing I have observed over the years is that many, if not most of our prayers, are requesting Jesus to do something for us.  We ask Him to speak to the hearts of our families, our friends, and our neighbours.  We ask Him to bring change to our governments.  Our lists of requests are endless.  In the midst of all our petitions, I believe Jesus is asking some things from us.  Look at what Ephesians 2:6 says. 


"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,"


Now read Colossians 3:1.


"So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God."


These verses, and others like them, tell us that a true Christian is now seated alongside of Jesus in the heavenly realm.  This seating arrangement would have taken place when the Holy Spirit came into the life of the believer.  As Christians, we exist in two worlds.  We exist on earth in physical form and we exist in the heavenly world in spiritual form.  In contrast, Jesus exists in the heavenly realm in some kind of superhuman form and He exists on earth within us in spiritual form.   


Further to this we should understand this seating arrangement in terms of the cultural environment in which Paul lived.  In the first-century, Greco-Roman world, the term "seated alongside another" was a term denoting one sharing the responsibilities with one who was in a place of authority.  In Biblical terms, it means that Christians share in the responsibilities with Jesus, the One who is the ultimate universal authority.   We are, in fact, co-workers with Jesus in the implementation of God's will on earth.  As co-workers with Jesus, we have our duties to perform and Jesus has His duties to perform as we advance God's will on earth.  When we fail to do our part, Jesus is limited in doing His part.  Of course, Jesus could do it all, but that would defeat the reason why we, the church, exist.       


So what does our seating arrangement have to do with our corporate prayers?  Our prayers should reflect the reality that we are seated alongside of Jesus, and being so seated, we don't ask Him to do everything for us.  We seek clarity and direction from Him as we work together in advancing the rule of God on earth.  This would mean, for example, that when we ask Jesus to speak to someone's heart, He would expect us to do some speaking to that someone as well.  It's a co-operative effort.  The degree to which we understand and implement this in our prayers, will be the degree to which our prayers will become more Biblically balanced and more effective. 


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