The Gospel Strength (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Topic: Sermons Passage: Ephesians 3:14–21
Hey, Dave Dorst isn't back yet (but I've been assured he'll be back in time for Sunday!) and I'm leaving today (Tuesday), so we're going to be passing each other while traveling. Traveling is one of those things we often ask others to pray for. We'll ask for "travelin' mercies." And that's a good thing to pray for. But our prayers need to be so much deeper than that. One of the best ways to learn how to pray is by reading, and then praying, the prayers of the Bible, one of which we have in our text for this Sunday, Ephesians 3:14-21.
John Stott writes, "One of best way to discover a Christian's chief anxieties and ambitions is to study the content of his prayers and the intensity with which he prays them. We all pray about what concerns us, and are evidently not concerned about matters we do not include in our prayers. Prayer expresses desire. For example, when Paul prayed for the salvation of his Israelite kinsfolk, he wrote of his 'heart's desire and prayer to God for them' (Rom. 10:1). As the hymn puts it, 'Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed.'
This is certainly true of this second prayer of Paul's in Ephesians in which he pours out his soul to God. He has been explaining both Christ's peace-making work, which resulted in the creation of the new society, and his personal involvement in this because of the special revelation and commission he had received. Now he turns from exposition [preaching] to intercession [prayer]. He prays that God's wonderful plan which he has been elaborating may be even more completely fulfilled in the readers' experience. Prayer and preaching should always go together. "
So the question for the day is, "Do you pray about what you heard preached?" Perhaps that would be a good practice to start. Let's all do that this week. We can do that in our community groups, in our families, in our private devotions. And then let's look to see how God acts in response to those prayers. Should be interesting. Dr. Dave
BTW, I won't be with you this Sunday as I'm traveling to Atlanta for PCA business, then on to Jacksonville to visit my folks. That's a lot of driving, so pray for some of those "travelin' mercies."