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Summary: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see that for us to reach our greatest potential as people and as a church is going to take us utilizing our prayer life. The Apostle Paul knew this and in our text we’re going to see him sharing w/the Xian

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“Praying with Power”

Ephesians 3: 14-21

May 23, 2010

Intro: A horrible flood struck a Midwestern town. The waters were rising so quickly the people were warned to leave their homes immediately. As the police came around making sure everyone was leaving, they came to Bill’s house. Bill was still sitting at home. He told the police, “I’m alright. I’m waiting on God to deliver me.”

-An hour later the waters had risen to several feet deep. The police came around the neighborhoods by boat trying to save people who were stranded on top of their cars. Once again they came to Bill’s house. He was sitting on top of his car and he told the police, “Keep on going. I’m waiting on God to deliver me. He promised He’d provide a way for me to reach safety.”

-The waters continued to rise and after a couple of hours the waters had totally engulfed the entire town. Everyone had left except for Bill. The police decided to make one more run to rescue him. They had to send a helicopter b/c the water was so high. They flew over town and saw Bill sitting on top of his roof b/c the rest of it was under water. W/their megaphones they asked Bill if they could get him. Again he said, “That’s alright. I’m going to wait on God to deliver me.”

-They didn’t know what else to do other than leave and leave Bill to his fate. The next time they came around they saw a hat floating in the water where his house had been. Obviously that’s the story of an ignorant man. God provided him w/several avenues of rescue but Bill turned them all down. He didn’t take advantage of what he already had.

-In many ways, we’re a lot like Bill. We have great wealth that lies before us that we don’t take advantage of. W/God we have a million dollar account and we’re living off spiritual food stamps.

-Now you might be thinking, “What in the world are you talking @?” Today I’m talking @ prayer. It’s a life preserver that God has thrown out to us and many of us continually avoid using it. My hope is as we continue our series “iPrayer” that we’ll learn how to use this powerful tool God has given us.

Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see that for us to reach our greatest potential as people and as a church is going to take us utilizing our prayer life. The Apostle Paul knew this and in our text we’re going to see him sharing w/the Xians in Ephesus some basic prayer requests he had for them to see them become powerful in their relationship w/God.

TEXT: EPHESIANS 3: 14-21

Bckgrd: Ephesus (which is in modern day Turkey) was a town that was situated between 2 major rivers and it became a great commercial seaport. It was one of the largest and most impressive cities in the ancient world. The town had great potential to be used greatly by God to spread the good news of Jesus; but I don’t know if the people had quite grasped this concept when Paul wrote them.

-VillageChurch, I have no doubt we’ve been divinely situated in this place to impact northeast Columbia. We’re in one of the fastest growing areas of Columbia. I’m amazed at the change I’ve seen in this area in the 8 years I’ve lived here! But if we’re going to make a major spiritual impact in our community, it begins w/us becoming a people, a church that’s committed to prayer!

-That’s why I have 3 basic prayers requests I want us to incorporate into our prayer lives. And as we do this, we will be a group of people that will be praying w/power. The 1st prayer request I want to challenge you to pray is:

DIV. 1: A PRAYER FOR STRENGTH (vv. 16-17)

Exp: What we’re going to notice today is that sincere, faithful prayer brings results. Paul let the Ephesian Xians know that he was praying for them. And he was praying that God would give them strength. The word “strength” means “to brace, to fortify.” He was praying the Ephesians would be fortified w/power so they could live for Christ.

A. The word “power” is from the Greek word “dunamis.” It’s where we get our word “dynamite.” So the power Paul wanted the Ephesian Xians to be strengthened with was dynamic. Now where would a strength and power like this come from? It would come from God. At the beginning of v. 16 it stat4es that the power came from God’s abundant riches.

1. Let me tell you something. It’s God’s desire for us to be a church that lives for Him and reaches our community w/the good news of Jesus. It’s God’s desire for us to reach our potential that He has in store for us.

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