Ephesians Session 3-
 A Community of Prayer. 

Click here to listen to the audio of the encouragement that Chrissie Foster brought to us.

There is also a powerpoint to accompany this teaching also available by
clicking here

We are looking today at Eph 1:15-23

Note that this begins with an encouragement.

V 15 Ever since I heard of your faith and your love I have not stopped giving thanks for you and remembering you in my prayers. S

What a reference! They were full of faith and love for others.

  • Would we like that to be said of us?

  • Would I like that said of me? Yes.


I am not sure I reach to that at all times. I am sure you could sit and think of someone of whom it could be said.
I know that I need to strive to be more loving.

Paul never stopped thanking God for them.
 I wonder.
Do we thank God for others who have faith and love? Do we do it for those in our family?
It made me think of our granddaughter, who was baptized some time ago. We pray for her, but do I thank God for her faith and love?

But Paul didn’t stop there. S.

He went on to pray, not just once, but over and over again, that they would receive the

 

Spirit of wisdom and revelation. (v 17)


What wonderful gifts to receive.

Wisdom – this was what Solomon asked God for when he could have had anything, but he saw the value of Godly wisdom.

We were talking to Francis Pidigu from the Tender Heart Foundation in Goa (See his amazing testimony & teaching here) last weekend and he was saying how wise the Christians had to be in the situations they face in a Hindu controlled society. We all need Godly wisdom in our situations.

In Genesis 11:4-8 we see an example of people who thought they were wise, but were not. They had a bright but not godly idea and ended up being thwarted. We need to take note of this. We may have good ideas, but we need to know they are in line with God’s plans and purposes for us.

Revelation - Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would guide them and reveal things that are to come. John 16:12-15. That promise is still true for us today.

Why do we need these gifts?

So that we might know him better –v 17


How can we know Him better?

 When we read the Bible we learn more about God. We need revelation in reading it at times to understand what God is saying to us. If we read a biography we learn about the writer of the book and have more understanding of who they are. It is good to ask God to show us what He wants to show us as we read a passage. As we spend time in prayer and meditation we get to know God better.

I find it helpful to spend time reading one passage more than once. It’s easy to read through a book and get the story, and this is good to give us the bigger picture, but to hear from God it’s also good to focus on a single passage.  Ask God to open your eyes as you read the Bible.

Psalm 119:8
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.


It is only as you spend time with a person that you get to know him/her better.  The more time you spend together you more you find out about each other. I know that in a busy world today it is difficult to find that time to spend with God, but it is value time and will reap great rewards in our relationship with Him. That time will be different for each one of us, - it may be on the way to work, or a set time away from the family, or a wander round the garden, -  but the important thing is, don’t miss out on it.

I pray that the eyes of your heart might be enlightened S – v 18


Why?

In order that you might know the hope to which he has called you – v 18


We are called to a life of relationship with God which does not end on this earth. But he has called us to a life of relationship with Him.

Is this just for our benefit? I don’t believe it is.

We are called to a life of relationship to partner with God in His mission while we are on this earth, a life of adventure with Him. God called Paul on the Damascus road, because he had a purpose for him. He was to be God’s representative to the Gentiles.
 

Acts 9:15
Go! This man is my chosen representative to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.


Do you know your calling?
I know that at the age of 15 God showed me that He wanted me to work with young children. I had set my mind on teaching French, but at 15 God said, ‘I want you to work with the little ones.’

 

The riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints – v18


That is our inheritance to be known as children of God and to share in eternity with him. The heirs usually receive the inheritance. We are heirs of the Father, and joint heirs with the Son. This is not a might be. Jesus said,

‘Anyone who believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.’ John 3:16


Change this to Christine, who believes, Brian who believes,
When we think of riches we so often think of wealth. Jesus warned us against storing up treasures on earth. Wealth does not bring joy and peace. It brings a concern to protect what you have. I have met millionaires and they were not the happiest of people. They were always worried that someone was after their money. I would rather have the joy of my inheritance in God.

His incomparably great power in us who believe – v19

God’s power is not only great. It is incomparable. There is no other power like it.
Paul reminds the Ephesians of the power of God shown when He raised Jesus from the dead. S – v20
Do you believe that you have this power within you?
Jesus said you do.

John 14:12&13
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my Name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.


After Pentecost we see that power at work in;

  • The healing of the man at the gate of the Temple - Peter

  • The healing of Aeneas - Peter

  • The bringing back to life of Dorcas –Peter

  • The raising of Eutychus – Paul


But this was not just for the New Testament. God’s power is still at work in us today. Jesus said,

‘Anyone who has faith.’

Not just those in the New Testament.  So my prayer for you is that you will realise this power within you and move in the light of that power.

I have been encouraged to read on face book some of the things that are happening at New Life Church in Wickford. Those of you who know me well will know that this was my part of the church family before I married Brian.  They are seeing miracles as they pray for people. A man with Parkinson’s disease was healed. This prompted me to pray for a neighbour and believe that God can change situations.

I don’t believe that this power is just there for new Life Church. It is there for all of God’s children.  We have this power in us. Let’s take hold of this reality and move in the light of this. 

We sing of God’s great power. Our God is healer, awesome in power. Do we believe it?

Every one of us has situations that we need to reach to God for. Some of us need the healing power of God; some of us have situations that need to be resolved; some of us have prodigals or unbelieving children.

As we sing our last song, let’s reach out and acknowledge the power of God in us to see change in those situations. I am not suggesting anyone comes forward to be prayed for, but if you do need someone to pray with you then don’t leave here this morning without doing something about it.
(All quotes taken from the NIV)
 

 

Christine Foster, 05/06/2015