Rabbi Schneider - Why Am I Here?
I'm going to go through seven prayers that the apostles prayed in the New Testament and help you to model their heart in your own prayer life. You see, when we pray we have to have faith. If we don't have faith when we pray, our results are gonna be limited. But the Bible says anything we ask for in prayer, believing that we've received what we asked for, we shall have it. So having faith when we pray to be effective is critical. But sometimes it's hard to have faith if we don't know that what we're asking Father for is His will. But one thing I can assure you of, the things that we're gonna be focusing on in the Apostalic Prayers that I'm gonna help you apply to your life, you can have faith whenever you pray for yourself for these things.
And it's an awesome feeling to be able to come before Father in Jesus' name asking Him for things that you know is His will, or are His will, for your life and therefore knowing you're gonna receive what you're asking for; that your prayers are gonna make a difference; beloved, that your prayers are gonna move God's heart and He's gonna respond to those prayers bringing increase in your life in many different ways. So with that said, I'm gonna begin right now and I'm just gonna offer this series up to Father in Yeshua's name, that He'll strengthen us all, His church, as we watch this together.
Father God, in Jesus' name, in Yeshua's name, I want to thank You, Father God, for the New Testament. I want to thank You for the revelation that You've given us in the writings, Father, in the Brit Chadashah, in the New Testament writings. And Father God, as we look now at Apostalic Prayers, at the prayers that your original apostles prayed, Father, I pray that you would make those prayers meaningful for every single one that's under the sound of my voice during this series. Father God, I ask you to release life into our hearts; Father, that You'd produce faith, clarity and confidence as we join to look to You together in these lives of the apostles through their prayers, in Jesus' name. Amen and Amen.
We're gonna begin then this series today, beloved ones, by going to the Book of Ephesians, one of my favorite books in the New Testament. And I'm quite sure it's one of your favorite books many of you as well. We're gonna go now to the 1st chapter in the Book of Ephesians, and we're gonna look at Paul's Apostalic Prayer beginning there in verse number 15. What I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna begin verse by verse to look at these Apostalic Prayers, to dissect them if you will, so that we can focus on each concept that that apostle raises before Father, once again knowing you and I realizing that as we're doing this, the same things that the apostle was asking for are still God's heart to give you and I, His children on earth here, today. So have peace and bear with me now. Here we go. Beginning in verse number 15, Paul begins. He says: For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers...
So the first thing that we learn is that this is a prayer. Paul is sharing that he's praying these things unto the Lord for us. And who is he praying for? He's praying for, beloved, those that belong to the Lord, those that have faith in Him. Having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you... And the badge of that faith was that they had love. He said, not only have I heard of the fact that you have saving faith, that you're truly children of the Lord, but I'm also hearing of the love which exists among you, which the older I get in the Lord, the more I see that love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit that will remain forever, right. Knowledge puffeth up but love edifies. All the gifts of the Spirit will pass away, the Scripture tells us, except for faith, hope and love; and love being the greatest of all. Jesus said, By this will all men know that you're My disciples if you love one another.
In other places in Scripture we hear concerning our own walking in love, that if we're walking in love and the love in our life is increasing, then we're truly on the journey. And I guess this is a good place just for us to kind of pause, you know, because Paul told us, he said, Examine yourselves, Paul said, test yourselves, in another one of his writings, to see whether you're in the faith. In other words, it's important that we look at ourselves. It's important that we examine ourselves. We can't just go through life coasting without looking at ourselves. So Paul said, Examine yourselves, test yourselves to see whether you're in the faith. And I think one of the ways that we can examine ourselves to see if we're really on the journey is to see are we on the journey, ask ourselves, are we on the journey of love? Are we walking in love? And is our love increasing?
Now none of us are perfect. I'm, I feel like the Apostle Paul, chief among sinners. I recognize in my own life how fall, I fell, how fall I fell often times. But what I also see is that I'm walking in greater love and in greater unity now than I was last year, and much more than the year before that, etc. etc. So that we're on this journey to perfection and the perfection is love. And so once again, as we're in this Apostalic Prayer in Ephesians, chapter 1, beginning in verse number 15, Paul identifies who he's praying for. He's praying for those that have a living faith in the Lord Jesus. He's not just some, you know, imagination, people hope that He's real. No, these are people that know Jesus is real. Their faith is alive. And, he said, they're walking in love.
So if you have a living faith in Jesus and you're walking in love, not that you're perfect but you're growing in walking in love and you're striving to walk in love, then this prayer, beloved, is for you. Let's continue on and see what Paul says. He says in verse number 16, again that he does not cease giving thanks for us. He said, you, there of course, but it speaks to us as well, while making mention of you in my prayers. And now he begins to pray, verse 17: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory...
Now just to point out the Hebrew roots of our faith here for a second, Paul always addresses his prayer to the Father. Generally speaking it's always to the Father in the name of Jesus. And we see that modeled here. And he's asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give to you. So I want us just to consider this for a second the model through which Paul prayed. Even when he began his letter he said, Grace to you and peace, Paul said, in the beginning of the Book of Ephesians, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. And so I'm trying to just place our relationship with the Godhead or the Trinity in order. Sometimes Christians are so focused on Jesus that they forget that it's because of the Father's love for them that Jesus was sent.
Remember the most famous verse in the Bible, right, John, 3:16: God so loved the world that He sent His only Son. Who is the God that so loved the world? That's the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember after Jesus had risen from the dead and had not yet ascended to the Father, some of those early followers of His saw Him and they tried to take ahold of Him. And Jesus said, Do not touch Me yet for I have not yet ascended. He said, Do not touch Me, He said, for I have not yet ascended to My Father and to your Father. So that's who the prayer is addressed to; that we have a Father in heaven. He's the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. And getting back to the Hebrew roots, and in the Hebrew Bible we, we see Him referred to through the Hebrew letters Yud-Hey-Vav-Hay, which most ancient Hebrew scholars of the ancient Semitic language feels is pronounced, pronounced a breathy Yahweh. So this is who Paul was praying to here, the God of Israel who is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is referred to about 7,000 times in the Tanakh or Old Testament, as Yahweh.
So let's make some progress continuing on. Hear the Word of God. Paul says, I do not cease making mention of you in my prayers, that, in verse 17, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, Yahweh, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. So Paul begins praying for the church, praying for you and I, God's people, that Father would give us a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge, listen now, of Him; not just wisdom for wisdom's sake, not just so that we could be wise in the world. Although wisdom is always good in every respect. But specifically Paul prays that we would have wisdom in the knowledge of Him; that you and I would have wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, who He is.
Now I want you to listen for a second here. Revelation is critical. Paul is linking wisdom and revelation together. Revelation, beloved, is the bed rock through what the church is being built on. Listen, Jesus said to Peter, Who do you say that I am? Peter said, Some say Elijah, some say John the Baptist raised from the dead. And then Yeshua said to Peter, to Simon Peter, But who do you say that I am? And Peter said, Thou art the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God. What was Jesus', what was Yeshua's response back to Peter? Jesus said this. He said, Blessed art thou, Simon son of John, for flesh and blood has not revealed, get that word revealed. Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but My Father, who is in heaven. And then Jesus said, And on this rock I will build My church.
I believe the rock that Yeshua was referring to there when He said to Peter, On this rock I'm gonna build My church, I believe the rock that Jesus was referring to is the rock, beloved, of revelation. You see, the Bible tells us that everybody that hears and learns from the Father comes to Jesus. So our faith is built on revelation, in the knowledge of Him, on the wisdom to understand that Jesus is the only way; not the world's mindset that tells us, you know, Jesus is one of many. Not the world that tells us, you know, to be politically and culturally correct and not to push our faith on anybody or to have an intolerant mindset by which we're saying Jesus is the only way. That's not the wisdom or revelation of God. But we have the wisdom and the revelation of God that Jesus is the only way. But beyond that, Paul is praying that we'll see how beautiful, and trustworthy, and faithful, and powerful Jesus really is.
So right now we're gonna pick up on this prayer that Paul prayed and I'm gonna share with you, beloved, a prayer so that we can enter into this right now. We're gonna ask for wisdom and revelation.
So Father God, in Yeshua's name, I ask You to give us now a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. Father God, we right now with Paul, ask that You would give us, Your people, a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. Father, we want to know You. Father, we want to see You. We want to see Your beauty. We want to see how beautiful, Jesus, You really are. So Father, we thank You that You desire to answer this prayer; this prayer, Father, that we would be filled in the wisdom, and the revelation, and the knowledge of You. So Father God, once again, we come knocking, we come asking, we come seeking, we come drawing near asking you, Abba Father, to give us wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You; of how beautiful You are, and Father God, how much You love us, in Jesus' name. Amen and Amen.
Beloved, this is not a prayer to just pray one time. This is a prayer to keep focused on through the rest of our journey here on earth; that Father would continue to reveal Himself to us. This is actually what Paul is asking for here; that God would reveal Himself to His people; that we would have a spirit of wisdom and revelation. Let's continue on. In verse number 18, Paul continues. He says: I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Notice once again, Paul by name mentions the fact that this is a prayer. He says, I pray. He's, he's contending with God that you and I would possess this, okay. This is a focused ambition of Paul that the church would be made complete. So what does he say? He says, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.
In other words, that our heart, our inner man, our inner spirit, our soul, beloved, would be filled and saturated with light; that we would have a spiritual eye, an internal eye. Not a physical eye, but an internal spiritual eye that we would be enlightened to be able to see and experience these realities that Paul was asking for. Let's look again: I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. You know, some people speak of the enlightened ones that have existed throughout the ages. You know the people that are into New Age, they speak about certain ones that are enlightened. Well I want you hear me, beloved, those that are truly enlightened are those that know the God of the Bible, the Judeo-Christian God, the God of Israel and the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is true wisdom. This is true knowledge. This is true enlightment. But more than this, what I want to stress for you and I today is that God is calling us outside of religion. He's not talking to us about becoming more religious. He's talking to us about really knowing Him and knowing unseen spiritual realities. He's wanting to bring us in to an experience that we're perceiving in our experience through our inner man that is of the nature of, of, of the Spirit. In other words, Paul is praying that the Holy Spirit would fill us and super charge us that we would truly be walking in revelation and, get it now, enlightment; that we'd be filled with this internal light; that we would be, that our mind would take on the mind of Christ; that we would take on the mind of God. And this happens, beloved, through a spiritual transformation by the Holy Spirit that affects the way we perceive life. So Paul is asking that the way that we see would be supernaturally enlightened.
You know, certain ones are able to see in the spirit deeper and farther than others. But all of us, all of God's children, have the potential to be able to perceive life with spiritual eyes and to be able to see into divine spiritual realities and mysteries; to be able to understand God's way and to comprehend Him. So let's look, listen once again: I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know, get it now the next thing Paul's asking for here, what is the hope of His calling. In other words, Paul wants us to understand, beloved, where we're going. He wants you and I to understand what our destiny is. You know, that's one of the most important questions in life that everyone has asked themselves. Why am I here? And where am I going? I mean, if you get right down to it, if we strip everything else away, to ask ourselves, what are the most important questions of life, wouldn't they boil down to who am I? Why am I here? And where am I going? What's my purpose in life?
Listen what Paul says there: I pray the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know the hope of His calling. In other words, Paul is praying that you and I will comprehend, not only how significant we are, which we're gonna see as this verse continues, but also that we'll have a sense of our destiny, of God's call on our life, who He's made us to be, who He's calling us to be, and what He's bringing us into. 'Cause you know what? If we don't know where we're going, if we don't have a target in mind, we're gonna drift through life like a ship that's being tossed by every wind that comes around. We have to have a goal. We have to have a focus. And Paul is praying that you and I will understand our call. You know, the great saint of old said that man's goal is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. And I think that's a pretty, pretty accurate definition of our calling, beloved, to know God, to glorify Him, and to enjoy His love forever.
I want you to know, you are so much more than you think you are. Your destiny is so much bigger and greater than you know that it is. The Bible says: Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, neither has it ever entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those that love Him. I want you to know, beloved, God has something supernatural and special in store for you. God has a call on your life. You're going somewhere. I know that sometimes it feels like you're just existing. Sometimes you just feel maybe like you get up in the morning, You do the same thing every day. It feels perhaps to you like life doesn't have significance. But I want you to know that you're being changed; that as you cooperate with God and seek God right where you're at in your present circumstances that may seem mundane, God is doing something supernatural inside you. See the Bible says the present trials we go through aren't worthy to be compared with the eternal glory that going through these trials is working in us. I want you to know, beloved, you're significant. God loves you. And He has a purpose for your life.