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The Prayer Circle: Pray for Strength in the Inner Man

Thanks for meeting us at the prayer circle.

A common complaint of prayer meetings is that there is too much focus on prayers for the outer man. While these prayers are needed and necessary, we also ought to focus on the needs of the inner man.

Especially in times of great trial, praying for strength in the inner man must become a vital part of our days. Learn more in this week’s Prayer Circle.

Pray for Strength in the Inner Man

Alec Motyer’s comments on Psalm 55:17 speak to the daily need of inner strength that comes from a daily walk in prayer.

“Regularity, setting specific times apart for prayer—and keep to them in a discipline way—is something the Bible encourages. We all find the story of Daniel’s practice in prayer moving to read (Daniel 6:10). How, in spite of the king’s foolish, self-glorifying edict, he went to his upper room, with its window towards Jerusalem, and knelt down three times a day. We sense not only the old man’s yearning heart for the city of God, but his confidence in prayer and his commitment. I wonder if Daniel had caught the vision of the threefold discipline from Psalm 55:17, ‘evening and morning and noonday’? How to end one day and begin another; how to stop in the middle of a busy life and turn to God. Isaiah made a forecast that the Servant of the Lord—The Lord Jesus—would practice the discipline of what we used to call ‘the morning watch’ (see Isaiah 50:4), and Mark 1:35 records an occasion when He did just that. In Acts 3:1 we find Peter and John keeping the statutory hour of prayer, the ninth hour, and the devout Cornelius testifies to the same prayer discipline (Acts 10:30). Should we be ‘evening, morning and noon’ people? The answer is ‘Why not?’ Two truths are important before we make excuses about the busyness of life today. First, prayer is a simple thing, not necessarily prolonged (Matthew 6:7-8), and secondly, none of the passages we have referred to says anything about the time when we pray or for what length of time. As soon as we think of starting the day with God, our minds begin thinking about four or five a.m. or some other unearthly hour—because we read somewhere that some great prayer warrior was always up and about by then! ‘Setting aside time’ means just that—doing what is possible for us within our God-given day and our God given abilities. Time to read a verse of the Bible; time to call upon God. And here’s a final thought: Psalm 55 begins with prayer (1) and ends with trust (23). If we say we are those who trust, those who are saved by faith, then a primary way this shows itself is to balance life’s demands with life’s prayers.”

George Muller’s autobiography reflects his thoughts about the need for joy in the inner man.

“It has pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, the benefit of which I have not lost for more than 14 years. The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, or how I might glorify the Lord, but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. How different, when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day come upon me.”

During my lifetime of attending prayer meetings, it is very clear to me that the default mode of most praying is that of praying for the needs of the outer man. While those things are important, they are secondary to the needs of the inner man in its sufficiency that must come from God alone. Here we are learning to participate with God in the transformation process through the trials of faith.

Even a glance at Scripture tells us that strength in the inner man is both vital and strategic to the message of the sufficiency of the resurrected Christ.

Proverbs 18:14 – The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?

II Corinthians 4:16-18 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 – Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:14-21 – For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

This truth becomes even more telling when we look carefully at the “cause” for inner strength which Paul refers to in his prayer (Ephesians 3). A careful look reveals 7 vital causes for believers to model inner strength.

Because of the heathen (vv. 8,9)

The lost around us are watching to see how we live during trials. Our inner light should shine for them.

Because of the angels (v. 10)

Because angels do not experience salvation, we illustrate for them the power of Christ raised in us. We can give holy angels our reasons to celebrate and we can give the evil angels a reason to worry about their future. A victorious Christian witnesses of their judgment to come.

Because of the person who is struggling (v. 13)

What a joy when believers are set free!

Because of the family of God (v. 14)

What difference to fellowship in a church family filled with joy because they walk in reality and freedom.

Because of Jesus (v. 17)

If Jesus is going to be comfortable in our midst and feel at home with us, He needs to know that we know that He is enough.

Because of God’s glory (vv. 20,21)

The bottom line for everything about us on the inside and out is the glory of God. Remember God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. The end of all praying is the glory of God. The end is not about us. It never was about us. Through our inner strength we give people glimpses of God.

Because of the children (v. 21)

The next generation needs to see the sufficiency of Christ in us if they are going to really embrace our faith and pass it on. Public performance without private reality is harmful to children. Gossip, arguing, complaining, critical spirits, fear, worry, love of money, love of praise, and secret sins of the flesh blur the power of Jesus to our children.

When we look at this list, praying for the inner man takes on a whole new value.

Remember Jesus himself speaks clearly about our joy in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

Let’s pray for strength in the inner man.

Joe Humrichous

Joe Humrichous is the executive director of Paradigm One and Bible Prayer Fellowship. The message of the sufficiency of Christ for both the pastor and the local church was birthed during a time of brokenness in his early ministry. Now after 50 years in ministry, Joe is passionate to share this reality as it applies to corporate prayer and church leadership. He recently served as a pastor at First Baptist Church in Covington, Indiana. He and his wife Teresa have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.

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