Pray for One Another-April 29, 2012
In this series on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we have heard Paul talking to this Gentile group which he himself believed he was called to share with the Gentiles the grace of the gospel. In verse 8 he considers himself to be the least of the saints (believers) this grace was given to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ. This is a grace Paul knew all to well, for it was Paul who persecuted this believers in the way. Paul set forth on a mission to destroy all those who worship Jesus to have the brought in legally and put to death. In one journey to attack a group of believers Paul was stuck blind in his tracks and heard a voice saying to him, “Why are you persecuting Me?” Paul then says, rightfully so, “Who are you Lord?” The response, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” I shutter to think at that moment the fear that may have overcome Paul to acknowledge that this great power upon was the Lord only to find out his energies had been misdirected, that he had in fact, been persecuting the Lord in persecuting Jesus. What grace is there that God would take one like Paul and mold him into one of the greatest missionaries of all time. It is truly for God’s glory, but Paul truly understood grace.
As the scripture continues there is a revealing of who Christ is, it is the mystery which had been hidden in ages past is now being revealed. The language is grand as if we are at the cusp of a turning point. Jesus is the pivotal point of history. For us to look at the larger picture for a moment, prayer is key and will be key it is how we have access to God through Jesus Christ, it is in this growing maturing into him that we also allow that prayer to draw us together as the people of God. So that the manifold wisdom of God might be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities. The wisdom of God is not carried through a ruling line or political channel but through the church to the world. This was God’s purpose carried out in Jesus and in him we have boldness, and confident access through faith. Don’t be discouraged by what you are going through but look to it as a way to give glory to God.
Paul tells this church that he prays for them the God would grant them, according to his riches to be strengthened with power His power through His Spirit in the inner man. Paul prays for others, and it is not just prayer for their bodies (the outward man) for our bodies (outward man) is always in decline and decay. We strive so much in our country to preserve our looks, health, youth, and energy by our own power. It is not to say that we should neglect or do harm to our bodies, but scripture in another place puts it this way, do not be worried as much by that which can destroy the flesh but by that which can destroy the soul. In our world and country we are trying to keep up the appearance of youth and health, while the spirit within is in decay and dying.
Paul prays that they would be strengthened in the inner man, that even though our bodies may be in decay our strength, life, and beauty come from the inner man. Paul continues, 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 fulness of God.
We do and should pray for the physical needs of our people, but we need to pray even more for the inner life of the person to be strengthened, it is this Christ that dwells in hearts producing, deep roots so when the trials come we are able to withstand, and as we grow, we can grow up if the foundation isn’t secure. Grounded and rooted so that we can understand with other believers the how deep, high, long, and wide is the love of Christ which is really beyond us to understand. It is revealed to us more and more through the strengthening of the inner man, and as it continues to be revealed in the life of the body of Christ (the church) today. Prayers are the ligaments holding together the body of Christ. Being filled up with the love of Christ to the fulness of God. Many times when we are full in this world we are miserable, in the fulness of the love of Christ we are satisfied and find a quite confidence, a calm assurance, and a boldness to trust Him more day by day.
He is able to do far more than we can even comprehend according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations. For all God is and all He can do, His is worthy of worship, honor, praise, and yes glory. The glory of God is revealed in the body of Christ (the church) and the Holy Spirit that dwells in the members of the body, and in Christ Jesus, this is for this time and each generation, will we be faithful to help others to seek Christ and be filled in the inner man. What a blessing, honor, privilege, and responsibility for the church as the body of Christ. May He find us faithful.