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Summary: ALL IN THE FAMILY – The Family That Prays Together, Stays Together Praying families have a: Family Humility Family Name Family Provision Family Home Family Integrity Family Abundance

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)

[14] For this reason I kneel before the Father, [15] from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. [16] I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, [18] may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, [19] and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

[20] Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, [21] to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

INTRODUCTION:

This morning we continue with ALL IN THE FAMILY—The family that prays together stays together. Since our focus is on prayer; I thought I would start out with a couple of family prayers that will make you laugh.

A little boy was spending the night at grandma and grandpa’s house. Kneeling beside his bed with his grandparents he softly said his prayers; "Dear God, please bless Mummy and Daddy and all the family. Thank you for letting me stay with grandma and grandpa tonight bless them and please give us all a good night’s sleep." Suddenly he looked up and shouted, "And dear God please don’t forget to give me a bicycle for my birthday!!"

"There is no need to shout like that," said his grandmother. "God isn’t deaf."

"No," said the little boy, "but Grandpa is. I want to be sure he heard me too."

One more for fun:

Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over like she said and then said a prayer.

Mother was quite please that he had learned his lesson so quickly and had prayed like she told him to. She said, "That’s good; if you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you."

Johnny said, "Oh, I didn’t ask Him to help me not misbehave, I asked Him to help you put up with me."

The family that prays together stays together. This morning we are going to look at six characteristics of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians that we can apply to our families: Humility, Name, Provision, Home, Integrity and Abundance.

I. Family Humility

Ephesians 3:14 (NIV)

For this reason I kneel before the Father.

1. Paul makes his prayer from a position of humility. Paul kneels in prayer.

a) I know we can pray in all kinds of ways. We can sit together around a dinner table. The kids can lie in their beds at night. We can stand. The physical posture is not as important as the condition of our hearts.

James 4:6 (NIV)

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

b) Only as we humble ourselves before the Lord will we be in a position to receive anything from Him. If we want to be in a position that God will hear us we must humble ourselves.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

if my people . . . will humble themselves and pray . . . then will I hear from heaven.

c) What is on the inside will find expression in what we do and say. If I have humbled myself, then I will at times kneel before God. I’ll be honest; I probably don’t kneel in prayer enough. Maybe it’s because of our schedules; kneeling in prayer takes more time than ‘praying on the go.’ Perhaps we need to rethink our position of prayer and take the time to kneel before the Lord individually and as a family.

Psalm 95:6 (NIV)

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

d) Kneeling before God is a way of acknowledging who He is. He is the Lord our Maker. We are only servants, bags of dust into which He has breathed the breath of life. We need to humble ourselves.

2. Why is humility important?

a) If we have a hard time humbling ourselves before God, how do we ever expect to humble ourselves before others within our family?

1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

b) If we are going to live the kind of life God expects it begins with our relationship with God and then to our family. We need to be willing to humble ourselves—husbands and wives, parents and children, and yes even within the sibling rivalries too.

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