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Summary: Part 2 of a message about Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians Church

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Dakota Community Church

July 8, 2012

Paul’s Powerful Prayer 2

Ephesians 3:14-21

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.

Strengthened in the inner man by the Holy Spirit

Rooted and established in love

Knowing a love that is beyond comprehension

Ephesians 3:18-19b

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...

Knowing a peace that passes understanding,

It was February 1941, Auschwitz, Poland. Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan priest put in the infamous death camp for helping Jews escape Nazi terrorism. Months went by and in desperation an escape took place. The camp rule was enforced. Ten people would be rounded up randomly and herded into a cell where they would die of starvation and exposure as a lesson against future escape attempts. Names were called. A Polish Jew Frandiskek Gasovnachek was called. He cried, “Wait, I have a wife and children!” Kolbe stepped forward and said, “I will take his place.” Kolbe was marched into the cell with nine others where he managed to live until August 14. The Nazis then injected carbolic acid into him and his body was cremated in the camp ovens.

This story was chronicled on an NBC news special years ago. Gasovnachek, by this time 82, was shown telling this story while tears streamed down his cheeks. A mobile camera followed him around his little white house to a marble monument carefully tended with flowers. The inscription read: In memory of Maximilian Kolbe. He died in my place. Every day Gasovnachek lived since 1941, he lived with the knowledge, “I live because someone died for me.” Every year on August 14, he travels to Auschwitz in memory of Kolbe.

So too, may we live each day knowing that it is because Jesus died on the cross and was raised FOR US. May his death and resurrection make a difference in the living of our lives. For, as Paul’s doxological conclusion to his prayer reminds us, God’s generosity; God’s superabundance is able to accomplish things in us and through us far beyond our ability to ask or imagine.

Filled with all the fullness of God

Paul closes this first half of his letter with a magnificent doxology.

Ephesians 3:20-21

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.


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