Posts Tagged With: power

Paul’s Powerful Prayer

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Today we will look at a powerful prayer Paul prayed for the people and one we might want to pray for ourselves and our churches.

Ephesians 3:14-19

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

This is an amazingly beautiful and powerful prayer Paul prayed for the people. “Paul has painted his great picture of the Church. This world is a disintegrated chaos; there is division everywhere, between nation and nation, between man and man, within a man’s inner life. It is God’s design that all the discordant elements should be brought into one in Jesus Christ. But that cannot be done unless the Church carries the message of Christ and of the love of God to every man. It is for that cause that Paul prays. He is praying that the people within the Church may be such that the whole Church will be the body of Christ.”1

Reread those verses as a prayer for yourself as a follower of Christ and for your church and the churches around the world. What is it that you need in your life – God’s strength, power, love or all of the above? Pray with faith that He may bless you abundantly with all of them. Imagine the difference we could make in the world if we were the kind of believers and the kind of church Paul prayed for!

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Power, Authority and Submission

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Today we will wrap up our study of Ephesians 1 and be reminded of the awesome power and authority that belongs to Christ.

Ephesians 1:21-23

21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Verse 21 makes it very clear that Christ has been given authority over all and His name is above all names that have been, are and will ever be. His authority is total and complete. There is comfort in knowing our Lord and Savior has authority of everything that happens on the earth. There is nothing that happens that is out of His control. 

Verses 22-23 talk about the church being Christ’s body. “The church is not an institution but an organism. It exists and functions only by reason if its vital relationship with the risen Lord who is its Head.”1 The church is not a building or a place, but a group of people who know and follow the risen Lord. We are the church. These verses also speak of Christ being the Head of the church and, therefore, the Head over us.

We are to submit to His authority. Just the word submit has negative connotations in today’s world. We live in a society that tells us to be independent and fight for what we deserve. It is just another example of how the things God values are so different from the things the world values. God values submission and humility where the world values a refusal to submit or give in and pride.

What areas are you struggling to submit to Christ? Is it your finances, your relationship with your spouse or children, your time, your plans or your job? We are to completely surrender all to Christ and fall completely under His authority. What areas of your life are you refusing to submit to Him? We are not meant to compartmentalize our lives and submit parts of it to Him and not others. Take the weekend to spend some quiet time with the Lord and ask Him to reveal areas of your life that need to be submitted to Him and follow it with obedience.  

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Wisdom, Hope and Power

ID-10049945   In continuing our look at Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving in Ephesians 1 we will see how he prayed for wisdom, hope and power on behalf of the people.

Ephesians 1:17-20

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

Paul is continuing to pray for the people. He is praying for them to receive wisdom and revelation from the Holy Spirit so they may know God more intimately. He wants the Holy Spirit to reveal to them divine things about the Lord only known by the Spirit. The same is true for us. We are blessed to receive knowledge and revelation about who God is by His Holy Spirit dwelling within us.

We are to have hope because we were called to be His children and be part of His family and will spend eternity with Him. In addition to wisdom and hope, we have power. It is not power that comes from our own strength or abilities, but from the Holy Spirit. This power that resides in us is the same that raised Jesus from the dead. It is easy for us to get discouraged in situations and feel defeated. However, we need to remember the amazing power that dwells within us so we can live victorious lives.

Which of the blessings, wisdom, hope or power are you in need of today? They are all available for those who believe. Ask the Lord for what you need to day. Remember when we ask things from the Lord, he does answer. His answers may not come in the way you are looking for them and His timing may not be yours. When we ask things from the Lord, we need to persevere in prayer trusting that He is in control and He knows what is best for us. We also need to have our eyes open to see Him respond in unique ways. Seek Him, persevere and keep an eye out for His work in your life today!

 

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Spiritual Boot Camp Day 33

It is the middle of the week and the time when we usually feel like skipping a day of boot camp. Hope you are able to persevere through the next three days as we wrap up our study of James.

James 5:12

12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.

James is reiterating what Jesus said about oaths in Matthew 5:34-37.

“34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne;35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

James was telling the people their word should be enough, they should not need to make oaths. It is not that oaths were forbidden, but they should not be said lightly. There is a seriousness in making an oath because it involves making it in the name of the Lord. Our word should stand for itself and we should not have to make promises, swear or make an oath in order for our word to mean something.

This verse may seem out of place because what came before had to do with patience with  others and what follows has to do with prayer. However, it is very much in line with a theme we have seen over and over again in James – the power of our words. We are pretty careless with our words and they can be very harmful to others. How often do we tell someone we will do something and then not actually do it? Or we don’t do it in the time frame we committed to do it? When we don’t follow through on our word, it becomes less meaningful and we become less trustworthy. 

In today’s world of constant communication and stimulation it is easy to become overwhelmed and become to busy to do what we say we are going to do. How often does that happen to you? Or the opposite, we say we aren’t going to do something any more and yet we do. I want you to think about what your word stands for – is your word trustworthy? Do you do what you say you are going to do and not do what you say you aren’t going to do?

In particular, I want you to think about what your word means in regards to praying for others. Sometimes we are asked to pray for someone else and say we will but then forget. Has that ever happened to you? We need to be people of our word and we need to be trustworthy, especially in the area of prayer. Instead of telling someone you will pray for them, how about simply doing it when they ask rather than waiting until later? Some people are more comfortable praying silently in their own place and time but what if we stepped out in boldness and whenever we were asked to pray for someone we simply did it right then and right there? I think we talk a lot about prayer without actually ever getting around to doing it. Praying for people right when they ask and engaging them in the prayer will encourage them, remind us both of our dependence upon God and help us both grow in our faith. I challenge you to do it the next time someone asks you to pray for them and make it a new habit.

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You’ve Got the Power

God has given us everything we need to live the lives He created us to live, but do tap into what He has given us?

2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

We have access to His divine power through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and with it we have EVERYTHING we need to live our lives according to His plan. We don’t just have some of the things we need, we have EVERYTHING we need; but do we live our lives with that kind of confidence? Often we live our lives feeling defeated by our circumstances or  as if we are lacking or missing something, but this verse makes it very clear that we have everything we need because we have Him.

On our own, we lack everything we need but with the power of His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we have everything. The other part of this verse says it is “through our knowledge of him”. We have to know the Lord intimately to be able to tap into His power. We need to spend time with Him in prayer to develop a personal, intimate relationship. The more time we spend with Him, the more we come to know Him and recognize His voice. He has also blessed us with His Word to help us get to know Him, His character, how He operates and what’s important to Him.

If you are feeling defeated by life’s circumstances today, take heart and know as a believer in Jesus Christ, you have EVERYTHING you need to get through it. You are not facing anything alone because His Spirit dwells within you and is with you every minute of every day. Tap into His power that already exists within you today!

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