Paul’s School of Prayer (Part 2)

I hope you have experimented with praying Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1.15-23. Here are examples of discoveries I made while putting this great prayer in my own words.

Verse 15 – I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love.

There are some people on my prayer list, who are not following Jesus. I prayed for God to give them the gift of faith.

Verse 17 – The Father of glory. I spent some time asking God to help me with some questions.

What does it mean for God to be the “Father of glory”? Is he the Father of everything that is glorious?

As humans strive for personal recognition, is there a greater “glory” than what humans know?

Verse 19 – What is the immeasurable greatness of his power.

Some of my prayer concerns stretch my faith. The greatness of God’s power encourages me to pray. His power is without limit.

God’s Power

God’s power was on display when he raised Jesus from the dead and placed him in a position of supreme authority.

Ephesians 1.20-23 – God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.

And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

As we use these verses as a model for our prayers, let’s remind ourselves of what we already know about each of the verses.

(1) We have already seen the term “heavenly places” in Ephesians.

The heavenly places are above the chaotic forces of this age. There are no forces that can match God’s power and Jesus’ authority.

Verse 3 – God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”

Followers of Jesus are not victims of the forces that array themselves against God and humans. God has placed us in the heavenly places with Jesus.

It is there that we experience blessings that come from a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

(2) The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in God’s activity with humans.

Verse 13 – Followers of Jesus are “marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit makes a relationship with God real and personal.

The Spirit enables us to pray in the face of chaotic world forces.

Romans 8.26-27 – Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with groanings too deep for words.

And God, who searches hearts, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

(3) God’s power makes Jesus’ authority a reality.

Verse 10 – God’s plan has always been “to gather up all things in him [Jesus], things in heaven and things on earth.”

Jesus has been raised to a position of authority because this has been God’s plan from the beginning.

(4) The people of God are an integral part of his power and authority.

Verse 22 – Jesus is “the head over all things for the church.”

Jesus has power and authority over all of the chaotic powers of the earth. In addition, he has complete authority over the church.

Verse 23 – God’s power makes the church “his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

Jesus is the head and we are his body. The following poem is attributed to St. Teresa of Ávila.

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Bridging the Horizons

I encourage you to make a prayer list that reflects people and events that are of deep interest to you.

Use the prayer of Ephesians 1.15-23 to pray for the people and events on your list.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you as you pray. Remember that your prayer is enforced by God’s power that is above all of the chaotic forces of this world.

YouTube Video and Prayer

Rudy Ross and I produce a daily YouTube video on the Bible passage found in my blog. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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