I was 23 when I first saw one. It was a hollow, colorful, papier-mâché creature stuffed with candy, chocolates, and assorted sugary delights. They strung it up and told me to hit it. They called it a piñata.
As entertaining as this experience was for me, I suspect the real entertainment for the college students in my Bible study was witnessing a grown man attempt to rupture his first piñata. But the joke would soon be on them.
I flailed aimlessly with all the force I could muster, missing the elusive treasure trove and inadvertently losing my grip on the stick. It shot like a spear at the crowd of gawkers, and smashed into the cheekbone of a girl who was caught off-guard by the missile.
It was also the last time I ever attempted to hit a piñata. In fact, it was the last time I would wield a weapon while blindfolded.
However, if Paul had to comment on some of my early prayers, he might draw a comparison. Many Christians pray like God is a piñata, which they blindly poke with aimless prayers. Let’s allow Paul to take off our blindfolds for us with this model prayer…
Eph 1: 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers
Paul frequently describes his prayer life as unceasing. Paul had a veritable shopping list of requests on behalf of dozens of churches, believers, unbelievers, rulers, and even enemies. Praying was like breathing for the Apostle. And breathing works best if it’s unceasing.
Unlike holding your breath (current records barely break the 24-minute mark), prayerlessness can last for days, weeks, and months, starving you of spiritual vitality, leaving you spiritually weak and fatigued, which in turn makes you vulnerable to doubt, temptation, worldly thinking, and unwise decisions.
What you’ll see without a blindfold of ignorance:
1. The Picture of Your Inheritance
Paul prays Eph 1:18…that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
The hope of our inheritance gives us a motivation to live holy lives and heap up reward for eternity.
When my wife and I as newly-weds were living in a roach-infested ghetto apartment and she was slogging as a waitress til midnight, while I was working and studying, we would sometimes sit down head-in-hands and ask why are we doing this? But it was the best way to save money for a future down payment on a house. We had a goal in mind. We would talk about the design, the garden, and how there would be no roaches.
Keeping the picture of your glorious inheritance in mind begets perseverance in trials.
2. The Power of God
Eph 1:19-20 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places
Would it help your prayer life if you understood the greatness of God’s power? I mean really grasped it?
Have confidence that Jesus can resurrect you to an inheritance of eternal life.
3. The Plan for The World
Eph 1:21-22 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,
In this sin-cursed world we all experience difficulty, disease, and disaster. If we didn’t know where life was heading, we’d plunge into despair or we’d try to numb the pain with the empty distractions of booze, entertainment, career, relationships, and comforts.
Knowing the plan of God injects meaning into life. We know why we are here, and where we are going.
Don’t pray like you are hitting at the piñata for candy and miss the nutritious meal laid beside it because you are praying limited by the blindfold of ignorance.
Pray with the picture of your inheritance in mind, pray with the power of God in mind, and pray in line with the plan of eternity. And then sit back and see what God can do.