Summary: Part 2 of a message about Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians Church
Dakota Community Church
July 8, 2012
Paul’s Powerful Prayer 2
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
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.
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.
Beginning with verse 21 I want you to notice four phrases.
1. "To him be glory . . . "
The glory of God is the beauty and brightness of his infinite perfection, it’s His weightiness, his heaviness, his depth!
When you knowingly exclaim, "Glory to God," there is a sense of elation, an exultant worship! It’s more than that feeling we had at the forks the day "True North" announced the return of the Jets to Winnipeg. It’s better than being live at the U2 - 360 tour last May (And that was an experience let me tell you!) It’s more than the thrill of the Bombers carrying coach LaPolice off the field on their shoulders; or the standing ovation at Milt Stegal’s retirement.
We all long to worship, praise is built into the human heart and we have a need to express it.
We may sing and shout it with more zeal when it is directed towards an athlete or rock star than we do to God - But there is no denying that praise, adoration, indeed worship is there in every one of us.
We were made to worship and sing.
We were made to have a hero to brag about, namely, God.
People feel awkward about singing or shouting “glory to God” because He is not as real to us as created idols.