Summary: This message treats the supreme desire of one who chained for being a carrier of the Christ: that those ho were free would Walk Worthy.
Those confined in Prison have been known to make Sustained Pleas. The Prayer-Life of Prisoners is Primary! I want to talk about that Prayer-Life. Let’s consider:
“The Prayer Of A Prisoner”
Ephesians 1:15-23 contains the Petitions of a Prayer of a Prisoner (read).
In my estimation, this ecclesiological epistle embraces Eminence; in my opinion. This Prisoner of Providence inaugurates this excellent epistle on the lofty peaks of Mount Zion. Paul is dictating from the prominent perspective of Heavenly Places. This epistle is heaven odorized. It smacks of the flavor of glory. It drips with the dew of grace. It exudes the incense of holiness.
At the very outset we find Paul poised in the Highest Position: he is On His Knees. I submit that On One’s Knees is the Highest Position. James agrees. He wrote: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” In Ephesians we catch sight of a Prisoner who ‘broke down and lifted up.’ Knee-bent and body-bowed with upraised hands, Paul immediately broke forth in a Doxology. He Blessed the Triune God for what He has done for us. Paul is Glorying in God’s Grace.
Now if we would suspend our suspicions, I think we would detect this strain of Excitement in his voice as He Catalogues The Blessings of the Blessed.
In Verse 4 he says, God Chose Us.
In Verse 5 he says, God Has Adopted Us.
In Verses 6 he says, God Has Accepted Us.
In verse 7 he says, God Has Redeemed Us.
In Verse 8 he says, God Has Graced Us with Wisdom and
In Verse 11 he says, God Has Given Us An Inheritance.
In Verse 13 he says, God Has Saved Us.
And in Verse 14 he says, God Has Sealed Us.
Now I contend that Paul Is Excited, because when he gets to verse 6, he hints that we ought to “Praise the Glory of God’s Grace.” Seeing that God has made us recipients of all those blessings catalogued, he suggests that we ought to Praise the Glory of His Grace. So we find that PAUL PRAISED IN PRISON.
What a Place For Praise: PRISON!
In Prison: Confined, Constrained and Constricted!
In Prison: Grounded, Guarded and Governed!
In Prison: Stifled, Stabled and Stigmatized!
In Prison: Cuffed, Chained and Checked!
In Prison: Concealed, Condemned and Contemned!
Yet, with chains on wrists and ankles and coupled to house-guards, PAUL PRAISED IN PRISON!
My friends, A Confining Circumstance Is A Good Place For Praise!
A Locked-In Look-Out is a good place for praise.
A Cramped-In Spirit is a good place for praise.
Chained with Cares and Coupled to Confusion is a good place for praise.
Hemmed-In by Doubts and Surrounded with Gloom is a good place for praise.
Floored by Failure and Penned-Down by Poverty is a good place for praise.
Locked-In by Sickness and Locked-Out by Scorn is a good place for praise.
A Confining Circumstance is A Good Place For Praise: PAUL PRAISED IN PRISON!
Not only did he PRAISE, but in Verses 15 and 16, he is calling our attention to A SECOND AND THIRD ACTIVITY HE PERFORMED IN PRISON.
He informs us here that some news had reached his ears. Someone had informed Paul concerning the FAITH AND LOVE of some saints who resided in a distant city called Ephesus. Their Faith and Love had Sounded-Out across the Mediterranean Sea, traveled the imperial city streets of Rome and had pedestrianed into his cell. And that additional news was added cause for Paul to THANK IN PRISON. He says in Verses 15 and 16, “Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease TO GIVE THANKS FOR YOU …”
Says Paul: Because of hearing the good news of your new-found Faith in the Lord Jesus coupled with your Latitudinal Love that extends unto all the saints, I have Additional Cause to Celebrate Thanksgiving on a daily basis: “because of this, I do not cease to give thanks for you.”
Says Paul: I’m grateful that after you heard the good news of your salvation as proclaimed in the Gospel you trusted, believed and consequently you were sealed.
Says Paul: In fact, ever since I heard about it, I haven’t stopped thanking God for you—”I do not cease to give thanks for you.”
Says Paul: Even though I’m a prisoner in chains, yet I’m grateful that other captives have been set free. I’m thankful that you have been delivered from the chains of guilt and the penitentiary of sin. Says Paul: even though my freedom has been curtailed, yet I’m thankful for your freedom in the Lord.
My friends, we too can be Thankful For Others. Our gratitude does not necessarily have to be predicated solely on Our Own Personal Blessings; we can be Thankful For Others. Even though your deliverance from a present-prison tarries, yet you too have cause for unceasing thanksgiving if you have heard of the salvation of others. You ought to be grateful for the grace of God working in the life of someone else. You ought to be able to thank God for His benefits to others. And I’m convinced that if WE START TELLING WE’LL START THANKING. IF WE WITNESS WE’LL WORSHIP! Paul not only PRAISED, HE THANKED IN THE TANK!