Summary: Paul switches from instructing the Ephesians about all that God has accomplished for them through the work of Christ to interceding for them.
Dakota Community Church
June 10, 2012
Paul’s Powerful Prayer 1
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, forever and ever! Amen.
If it were possible for us to tune in to your prayer life, or mine, or to see the secret entries of your journal if you have one; we would discover a great deal about what matters to you. We would understand your deepest desires and know your darkest fears because these are things that a man prays about. We do not waste time in prayer concerning things of no consequence to us.
What does your prayer life say about your actual desire in life, not the desire you put forth as a priority in the sight of others - the real thing - the thing you take to God in prayer?
• How important is Money?
• The Church/Ministry
• Salvation of lost souls
• Personal need, A relationship, Forgiveness...
Before we leave this line of thought - what is absent from your prayers?
Does what is missing from your prayers call for a change in priorities?
Does it call for repentance and the washing away of sin? - I know mine does!
I spend too much time on selfish desires, too much time on fear based issues (protection for the boys especially when they were younger), and nowhere near enough on purposes of the Glorification of God.
In today's passage (and in several others) we have a glimpse into the prayer life of the Apostle Paul. Notice the connection between desire and prayer.
10 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
In this passage Paul switches from instructing the Ephesians about all that God has accomplished for them through the work of Christ to interceding for them. He has laid the facts out plain and now he pleads with God to grant them revelation of all he has taught thus far.
There are four things that Paul wants God to bring about in the lives of the Ephesian believers, he longs for them to be:
1.) Strengthened in the inner man by the Holy Spirit
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
Paul begins by asking God to strengthen the Ephesians in their inner being.
He wants God to tap into His "glorious riches" in order to do this - so that Christ might dwell in their hearts through faith?
Doesn't Christ already dwell there? This letter is written to a Church is it not?
The answer is yes, however this prayer is speaking about a settling in, about an establishing of residence. Christ already dwells in the heart but Paul is seeking a deeper abiding, the increasing establishment of a throne, of dominion, of Lordship.
How great is the desire for the Spirits transformational work in us?
Is sanctification a regular "desire" expressed in your prayers?
How does Paul see this change coming about? What or who is the source of it?
Does he lay out certain secret keys or recommend some conference or teaching?
Men prefer "steps of action" to prayer because we long to believe in our own importance. The idol of "SELF" rises repeatedly. How did Luther define sin? Homo incurvatus in se - Man bent in on himself. We want the story to be about us - about our glory, our triumph, God's need of us; rather than our need of Him, and this desire runs deep.
2.) Rooted and established in love
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
Believers need to be strengthened and controlled by the Spirit in order that they might walk in love. This new family with it's dividing walls torn down will be known by and will only function correctly if it's members exemplify this virtue.