Summary: The church plays an important role for God’s Kingdom, and so, we are to pray for the church and its members!
Please open your Bibles to Ephesians Chapter 3……
We noted last week that God has revealed a mystery.
Look again at Ephesians 3:6………….
We noted 4 truths from this verse:
- the mystery is revealed through the gospel of Christ
- all Believers of Christ will inherit heaven
- all Saints are united in ONE body of Christ
- all Believers are equal at the foot of the cross
And God gives us a reason why the mystery is revealed!
Look again at verse 10 of Ephesians 3……..
Angels are watching what we do as a church!
The Apostle Paul was quite aware of the role of the church and its members for the glory of God; and so he prays in v14-21 of Ephesians 3.
Read along with me this prayer of the Apostle Paul for the church; and remember, since this letter is meant for all Christian churches, he is praying for us as well!
Paul knew that the church glorifies God and so he prayed for the church. Can we note anything else from the opening statement “for this reason?” The Apostle Paul prayed for the church because he cared for the church. Look at v1, the Apostle Paul was willing to be a prisoner for them.
Why did Paul care so much for the church?
Look again at v7 of Ephesians 3………
Paul was driven by the love of God!
A quick application question; What drives our lives today?
We’ll talk more about this later.
Let’s note what we can learn from Paul’s prayer.
What do you think Paul meant that he kneels before God??
Paul prayed in humility to God, he interceded for the church, and he was very serious about his prayer.
And what did Paul pray for? Paul actually prayed one long prayer! Students of the Bible should always look at other translations. In your notes is the New King James Version of v16-19. Most English translations are like this, one long sentence. Paul prayed….. 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God!
One long prayer request!
Paul was so excited about praying for the church!
What specifically did Paul pray for?
What does this mean? Remember in Ephesians 1, God tells Christians who they really are and what they have! And so, what Paul is praying for Christians is that they allow the power of God within them to blossom more and more. The basic prayer is, yield to the Holy Spirit!
Revelation 3:20 has the same message. Remember this picture of Jesus knocking on the door of your heart?
Paul is praying, “Christians, don’t leave Jesus outside your heart! Instead, picture your heart with this (heart picture)!”
Note that Paul started with, that you being rooted and grounded in love, Paul is praying for Christians who already know God’s love! If someone asks you, how do you know God loves you? Most of us will say, Jesus who is God died for my sins! This is an awesome truth, but Paul is praying for something deeper! Paul is praying, “Christians, know deeper and understand more the love of Christ!”
I think every Christian should memorize Romans 8: 38-39 - For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You see as a Christian, in death or life, God loves you through Christ! With angels and demons around you, God loves you through Christ! Today or tomorrow, God loves you through Christ! Think about this, above any power, whether it’s a nuclear bomb, passionate love or anger, awesomeness of creation such as the billions of stars and galaxies, even beyond heaven or hell, God loves you through Christ!
Christians, know how deep and how great is the love of God for you!
There is always room for God in our lives, isn’t there?
Paul is praying that Christians not only open their hearts to Christ, but to also open every closet in our hearts to Christ. If we desire the fullness of God in our lives, we need to look at every aspect of our lives whether they are given to Christ or not. We wake up in the morning, do we think about Christ? In food, drink, and exercise, do we think about Christ? In our music and entertainment, do we think about Christ? In our work, do we think about Christ? With our families, do we think about Christ? Even in our worship, are we really thinking about Christ?