Ephesians 6:18 — Paul’s four ‘alls’ of prayer

I am now at Ephesians 6:18: Paul’s four alls of prayer: all times; with all prayer; with all perseverance; for all of God’s people. The one that proved most difficult was ‘with all perseverance’, which I rendered as ‘with unflagging commitment’.
So my draft for Ephesians 6:18 is:
‘The other weapon to use in attack is prayer, but prayer is more than that: we are to put on each part of the armour with prayer. In spiritual warfare, prayer is absolutely vital. Grow in a vibrant relationship with God. Keep praying in the Spirit on every occasion, using every different kind of prayer and request. Turn to God in worship, praise and thanksgiving, confessing your sins to God and asking him for what you and others need. Allow the Holy Spirit to energise you and keep you fresh in prayer. May the Spirit guide and prompt you as you pray. Pray with faith. Pray when you feel like praying … and pray when you don’t feel like praying. Pray naturally. Pray by yourself; pray with others; pray out loud; pray silently. Become excited as you wait to see how God will answer your prayers. Come to know God more deeply through prayer, discerning and aligning yourselves more and more with his will. To do all this, remain alert. Don’t give up, but persevere in prayer with unflagging commitment, keeping in touch with God and praying for all of his people.’

How did ‘Word Come Alive’ originate?

The story began in June 2014: I meet with a Christian friend who is a former bank manager and we discuss business and other matters every few months. At our meeting on June 12, 2014, we had finished the main business and he and I discussed motives in Christian service. As a follow-up to our meeting, I thought I’d look at 1 Thessalonians 2, in which I knew Paul discussed motives.

I looked up 1 Thessalonians 2:1-10 in all the Bibles and commentaries I have. I focused particularly on 1 Thessalonians 2:12 and the three verbs that Paul uses to refer to how a father treats and deals with his son. The verbs are translated variously as ‘encourage’, ‘urge’, ‘plead’, ‘comfort’, all of which are fair but I don’t think they had much impact on me. One book even suggested ‘stimulate’ but that word is completely inappropriate today. I then thought, ‘What do fathers do?’ They seek to motivate their children and then the thought occurred to me, why not put verses 1 to 12 into contemporary English? I also knew that the best way to see if you’ve really understood a passage is to explain it in your own words to someone else. So I did that and then I felt there was something almost pulling me to continue. I then did the whole of 1 Thessalonians, showed that to friends and they encouraged me to do more.

A further friend then urged me to work on John’s Gospel, and that is what I worked on from late 2014 to end 2015. That has just been published digitally and is available on Kindle and other digital outlets.


It’s nearly two years since I first started thinking of paraphrasing the New Testament. We have come a long way since then:

  • John’s Gospel now available digitally
  • John’s Gospel (hard copies) now in production
  • 1, 2 and 3 John in final review stage
  • Ephesians now being drafted