Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…
1. The apostle here supposes our obligation to prayer to be so plain, that every rational mind will see it, and so important, that every pious heart will feel it. Therefore, instead of adducing arguments to prove the duty, he rather points out the manner in which it should be performed.
2. Prayer is of several kinds: social and secret, public and domestic, stated and occasional; and it consists of several parts: confession, supplication, intercession, thanksgiving.
3. The apostle next instructs us concerning the manner in which our prayers should be offered.
(1) The first thing necessary in prayer is faith, or a believing view of God's providential government, and of the wisdom and goodness with which it is administered.
(2) Our desires must be good and reasonable.
(3) Attention of mind, collection of thought, and warmth of affection, are qualifications required in prayer.
(4) That our prayers may be acceptable to God, they must be accompanied with justice to men.
(5) Charity is an essential qualification in prayer.
(6) We must bring before the throne of God a meek and peaceable spirit.
(7) Our prayers must be accompanied with a sense of, and sorrow for, sin.
(8) We must persevere in prayer.
4. The apostle here teaches us the duty of intercession for others. The goodness of God is the foundation of prayer. If God is good to others, as well as to us, there is the same ground on which to offer our social intercessions, as our personal petitions.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;