July 8, 2018
Jesus Only: Prayer for the Ephesians
One of the core values of the Christian & Missionary Alliance (the denomination of which Hope Church is a member) is that prayer is the primary work of God’s people. God’s people ought to be people who pray! Ephesians 1:15-23 is a passage that teaches us how to go to the Father and pray – for ourselves, one another, and for the church. Paul gives us three ways that we can pray in this text.
First, we pray for minds to be expanded. You can have great intelligence but not have a lot of wisdom. Conversely, you can be very wise but not all that intelligent. The wisdom that Paul is talking about in this passage comes from God. The knowledge he is talking about is not knowledge about God, but knowing God Himself. This kind of knowledge comes only by being filled with His Spirit and allowing Him to live in and through us.
Second, we pray for hearts to be opened. The heart is the seat of emotion, where passion, feeling, empathy, longing, and desire reside. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is that they might have spiritual eyes so that they can see the way God sees. He wants us to continually see the hope that we have as believers, the constant and joyful expectation of the riches that are wrapped up in our glorious inheritance – our salvation.
Third, we pray for power to be displayed. The early church knew all about the display of the Spirit’s power. They experienced changed lives. They saw demons cast out and people set free. They saw people healed from all kinds of diseases. The Gospel wasn’t just a message they were sharing; there was an explosive movement underway. This same power is available to us today. Don’t underestimate what we have at our disposal through God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.