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Throwback Thursday – May 19, 2019
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Sunday marked week three of our series “Teach Us to Pray.” We focused this week on Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in chapter 3, starting in verse 10…
“..so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
One thing Pastor Bill encouraged us to take note of this weekend was Paul saying that he “bows his knees before the Father”. It is his outward demonstration that God is supreme. It is a sign of both humility and respect. When we pray, we aren’t just throwing out empty words to a God a million miles away. We are approaching God’s throne of grace in our time of need.
Someone once said that if the Holy Spirit was removed from this world, most of what Christians are doing would go right on and nobody would know the difference. That’s because a lot of us spend so much time doing “good” things in our own strength instead of doing the great things God has planned for us to do (Ephesians 3:20) through the power of the Holy Spirit in us!
Paul prayed that the Ephesians would be “strengthened with the power through His Spirit in the inner man”. Why do we need this prayer? If we are saved and secure in Jesus, why would we need to keep asking to be strengthened with the power of the Holy Spirit? Imagine your heart as a throne. There is only room for one person to sit on it. On the left of the throne you’ve got your flesh… your own personal desires & wants. On the right side of the throne you’ve got the Holy Spirit. And these two are battling to sit on the throne of your heart. Which one is going to win? We’d all love to say the Holy Spirit! But the reality is, the one that wins is the one we feed the most. If we’re constantly indulging in and feeding the flesh, we give way for that to reign in our hearts. But if we’re growing in the power offered us by God through the Holy Spirit, He will reign.
Paul prayed for 4 things. That:
-The Ephesians would be strengthened
-Christ would dwell in their hearts
-They would know the love of Christ
-They would be filled up to all the fullness of God
Points to Ponder:
- What are you doing to feed the Holy Spirit over the flesh?
- The Bible says that we are, “transformed by the renewing of our minds”. What are some ways this week you can renew your mind?
- Are there things in your life that are feeding the flesh that need to be cut out? If so, what?
- Who is one person in your life that you can commit to pray Ephesians 3:10-21 over for the next week?