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Volume 27 - Page 112 of 212 Index | Zoom | |
Circumstances may enchain us; "our affairs", if described in the language of men, may
seem mean, poor, colourless, miserable. Prayer lays hold of these circumstances, and the
prison wall cannot prevent the truth from sounding out to the whole Gentile world. The
prisoner becomes the honoured ambassador of the Most High, and his desires are so far
above the, by comparison, mere pressure of outward circumstances that, as a matter of
consideration, they cease to exist. He knows a holy independence of them all, and his
one concern is for personal faithfulness.
The three prayers of this Epistle may therefore be summed up as follows:
Revelation turned into Realization (Eph. 1: 15-19).
Revelation turned into Anticipation (Eph. 3: 14-19).
Revelation turned into Participation (Eph. 6: 18-22).
Root and Fruit.
pp. 213 - 215
The prayers recorded in any one book of the Bible will necessarily take their colouring
from the special aspect of truth characterizing that book. This we have seen exemplified
in the three prayers of Ephesians. The basic truth of the dispensation of the mystery is
never absent from these three prayers.
In the pursuit of our enquiry we next turn to Philippians. In Chapter 1: 9-11 of this
Epistle we have the apostle's prayer for those who had had such fellowship with him in
the gospel as eclipsed the efforts of all other assemblies.
"And this I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in
all judgment. That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and
without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness which
are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
When considering the three prayers found in Ephesians we did not attempt an analysis
of the Epistle, nor can we here give an analysis of the Epistle to the Philippians. Suffice
it to say that the key words of Ephesians, namely "Head", "Body", "Mystery" and
"Fullness" are absent, and, instead, we have "No reputation", "Prize", "Striving as
athletes", "Fellowship of His sufferings", etc. Philippians, instead of dealing with the
"ground and the root", is more concerned with the "fruit". Instead of stressing a salvation
which is not or works, it urges believers to "work out their own salvation". Instead of
"access with boldness" we have fear and trembling" and "if by any means". In this
prayer for the Philippians it is the love of the believer that is in view, "that your love may
abound", whereas in the Ephesian prayer it is "the love of Christ" that is central. We do
not usually think of abounding love and keen discernment together, yet it is for this that
the apostle prays. The word "judgment" is aisthesis. Etymologically this word means
"perception by the external senses" such as seeing or hearing something, etc.