STRENGTH THROUGH PRAYER
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
Brian Shaw of the United States was crowned the strongest man in the world this year. To win this competition, he needed to exhibit different tests of strength which included vehicle pull, car carry, keg toss, squats, dead lifts and the notorious Atlas stones. These were tests of power, strength and sometimes simply just might. It was as much physical as well as mental and sheer inner will power. All these three words are used in the Bible’s exhortation for us to be strong in the area of prayer: ..”be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!’ What do they mean?
The Greek uses three different words for strong (endunamo), power (kratoj) and might (ischus). The first is an inner strength. The second is more of a force that produces results. The third is ability. Another way of translating this verse with all the nuances of the Greek would be: “Be endued with an inner strength found in union with the Lord and in the forceful out-working of His power in signs and wonders by His supernatural ability.” What a verse! Parsing it, we find that it’s tense is present, it’s voice passive and it’s mood imperative. This means it is not optional but a call by God to receive His inner strength everyday to produce works of power.
How are we to receive this? Well Paul tells us to put on the whole armour of God and he finishes off by saying: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (v 18). The place of being endued with power from on high and being protected by the armour of God is obviously found in the realm of prayer including praying in the Spirit. To grow strong in our life of being in God, hearing Him and being filled with His power, we need to pray. But paradoxically, only prayer can make us stronger in prayer! Only if we eat can we develop strength to make our appetite for food even stronger! Prayer begets prayer! And the deep prayer life begets power. The only thing needed is to start! Will you do so today?
2016 YEAR OF STRENGTH
PsDr Philip Lyn