For all who trust in Christ, God is both the source and sustainer of that faith. If we desire to see our faith grow then our knowledge and understanding of who God is and what he has done for all believers must increase. Like Paul, may none of us cease asking God to grant us greater revelation and knowledge of Him.
We all could stand to improve in our personal prayer life. For some, prayer is either lacking or routine, a going through the motions. This morning we study the Apostle Paul's prayer for the Ephesians, a powerful, God-centered prayer that changed their lives. We will examine this prayer and learn how we can pray more meaningfully.
The 50th anniversary of King’s tragic death marks an opportunity for Christians to reflect on the state of racial unity in the culture and in the church. Indeed much progress has been made and yet, we have so far to go. Racial reconciliation and racial harmony are necessary fruit of the gospel. We are called as a church to be a visible congregation, indeed family and body of Christ living in racial harmony at the center of the city. As believers in Christ we are called to ethnic, racial unity and we are equipped by God for unity. Jesus Christ has torn down the wall of hostility between us and made us one new race, citizens of Heaven, the household of God.
We look to Paul's prayer for the church in Ephesus as an example to follow and also strive to be strengthened by Christ's indwelling presence through the Spirit. Awareness of God's great love for us in Christ is essential and transformative for healthy prayer lives.
We begin 2012 as a church family with a focus on prayer. We look to Paul's prayer for the church in Ephesus as an example to follow and also strive to be strengthened by Christ's indwelling presence through the Spirit. Indeed as Paul states, God is able to do more than we can ever ask or imagine.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul explains that those of us who have been redeemed by God have been given a new identity as members of the body of Christ. In Ephesian 4:1-16, Paul then transitions into showing us what it looks like to live rightly as church members. As members of the body of Christ, we are called to unity, we are equipped for ministry and we are to be grown up in maturity.
The way we treat each other in the church should be informed and modeled after how God in Christ has loved and forgiven us. We are to walk in love with one another, forgiving each other, giving no room for the devil to divide us. One of the primary ways the devil brings harm to the church is through angry or evil speech. However, our speech should be wholesome, not self willed and useful for building others up.
As fathers we are commanded to raise our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Hence, as fathers we are models and teachers. But are we faithful models and teachers? All of us are teaching our children something, whether we realize it or not. Are we teaching them that Christ and His Kingdom are our supreme treasure or the things of this world are our treasure? As fathers our goal should be to teach and display the beauty and goodness of Jesus and His Word so that our children will know, love and obey the Him.
Prayer is not only a weapon to be wielded in the midst of spiritual battles, prayer is the means of advancing the Kingdom of God. God has chosen to accomplish his work, further his Kingdom and save sinners through prayer. Indeed, prayer moves the arm that moves the world.
All of the Christian life is a spiritual battle against spiritual darkness and a very real and powerful enemy. Sadly, often we are not equipped, prepared or alert to fight this spiritual battle. And as a result, we suffer; our joy and faith suffer. In chapter 6 of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul instructs us how to be equipped to fight this battle. We are to fight in the strength of the Lord and with his might. Our weapons are the Word of God and prayer. Prayer is the means by which we enable ourselves to stand against our enemy. Prayer is absolutely vital to our perseverance in the faith.