Ephesians 6:18 Paul has been exhorting the believer that he is in a spiritual battle and must engage in unceasing supplication. If the believer is to accept the exhortation to enter the battle, there needs to be some definite direction as to how to do so. There are two sources to supplication: position and persistence.
In real estate, there is a 3-fold aspect to success – Location, location, location, which is really one aspect. In supplication there is also a 3-fold aspect – Position, position, position, but there are 3 distinct meanings. Genesis 18:1, 17-19 The Lord has appeared to Abraham and has revealed the fact of Sarah’s future pregnancy. He then opens His mind to Abraham in regards to what He will do toward Sodom and Gomorrah. He also declares that He has known Abraham, putting him in a special position before Himself.
- The believer has a special position before God, a right of access through Christ. If there is not a sense of having been brought into this position of sonship through the blood of Christ, prayer will be stiff and formal. The believer knows himself to have been brought before God for prayer. This is who we are – we have been adopted as sons and are able to cry out, Romans 8:15. Even so the Lord’s model prayer begins “Our Father”. So the first position in supplication is sonship. Without this there is nothing.
- There is a providential position that has been given by God. Every believer has a space in life that is uniquely our own – in family, in the church body, in the larger community. The believer has knowledge that God gives of needs in our own unique situations, Genesis 18:17. This unique position is not happenstance and is given for prayer – what we know, who we know are given to us for prayer. Many things are common knowledge but each believer has a unique position for prayer. Philippians 1:19 Paul knows that God will deliver him through the prayer that they were uniquely able to offer on his behalf.
- There is a position that is from God that is a personal interceding – a use of being a believer and a use of unique knowledge. Abraham did not take the unique knowledge God gave him about Sodom and Gomorrah and lament over their fate. Abraham made active use of this knowledge and the fact that he was in God’s presence to plead for them. And he used his knowledge of God’s character to remind Him of His mercy to the righteous. The believer uses God’s promises in prayer. And Abraham isn’t becoming more strident or puffed up but more humble. We engage with almighty God, the holy God, the God who is wise, and we go lower and lower in His presence. But we persist as Abraham did in this holy intervention. Although we recognize God is sovereign, we don’t resign ourselves to “Your will be done”. We ask strongly with personal pleading. There is a recognition that God has put the believer in this unique position for this particular supplication. And it is for God’s glory.
It is not just being in the right place in the right time. It is all about persistence in prayer because of the need. God hears such prayer. There was interaction between God and Abraham. In Genesis 32 Moses pleaded for the children of Israel in their sin. God challenged Moses to maintain his prayer and heard him.
This Is the prayer of the Lord Jesus for believers before the Father. He is in a position of persistent, personal prayer and we have been called to a like position.