Summary: Paul offers some valuable insights into the area of prayer.
The ABC’s Of Prayer
Introduction: After seeing his Green Bay Packers get sorely defeated one Sunday, Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi called his group together the following week and said, “Gentlemen, it’s time to get back to the fundamentals of football.” He held up the pigskin and said, “Men, this is a football!”
Often times we need to call the church back to the fundamentals. Here is the second prayer Paul offers for the church in Ephesus. Verse 14 is really a continuation of verse 1 which is a continuation of chapters 1 and 2.
After getting back on track from his interlude in 3:2-13, Paul offers some valuable insights into the area of prayer. It’s not that he is teaching us how to pray, but that we are able to hear, read, see and observe what he prayed.
I. “A” = Approach (v.14-15)
How does one approach God in Prayer? Note:
A. The Purpose: In light of all Paul has said, he wanted these people to enter fully into their privileges in Christ. Warren Wiersbe said, “Paul is saying, ‘I want you to get your hands on your wealth, realize how vast it is, and start to use it.’” David Dockery wrote, “Paul’s prayer was for believers to know what God had for them and by faith to make it a vital part of their lives.”
B. The Position: “I kneel.” Abraham stood. David sat. Jesus fell on his face. Paul kneels. The meaning here is that of urgency, intense earnestness. It shows unusual emotion.
C. The Person: “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Prayer is addressed to a person. It is through prayer that we lay hold of God and his riches that enable us to behave and battle like Christians.
II. “B” = Boldness
Look back at 3:12. The idea here is “freedom of speech”. It’s the absence of fear in speaking boldly. He asked great things from God. His boldness grew out of his:
A. Beliefs (v.12): He believed God could do what he asked him.
B. Bountifulness: “Glorious riches.” “Power.” Here is an indication of the limitless resources of God. He wanted them to receive the benefits they required in accordance with God’s ability to give. God’s storehouse is never exhausted!
III. “C” = Content (v.16-19)
Note Paul’s request. He wanted them to be:
A. Empowered (v.16): This is a strength that comes from divine power being imparted. They had both opportunities and opposition, therefore, they needed strength. God has an abundance of power to share (v.20). He wanted Christ’s presence to be real. In some he is present, in others he is prominent, and in others, he is preeminent.
B. Established: “Rooted” = agricultural term. “Grounded” = architectural term. The reference is to nourishment and stability. He wanted them to have a deep and stable experience that would sustain them during the severe trials of life.
C. Enlightened (v.17-18): Note the key words “grasp” and “to know”. He wanted them to apprehend and gain by experience Christ’s love.
D. Engulfed (v.19): Filled with his fullness. Positionally, we are complete. Practically, we enjoy only the grace we apprehend by faith.
IV. “D” = Doxology (v.20-21)
Paul closes with a grand doxology. Here is his praise.
A. His Grace: Unmerited favor. Paul labored to express God’s boundless resources. His riches exceed our requests.
B. His Glory: The ultimate goal of our existence is to glorify God.
Conclusion: Paul’s prayer is God’s will for us! Note Paul did not pray for the physical or material but for the spiritual. That’s what is paramount!