By Randy Keene
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Minor Hill
Focal Passage: Ephesians 3:14-21
In chapter three Paul takes an opportunity to emphasize how important it is for the church to draw strength from prayer. Never in my lifetime has the need been greater for the church to be a praying church.
Our country is in chaos, divided over political parties like never before, divided racially like we haven’t seen in 50 years or longer. The only unity I see, thanks be to God, is in my church. Prayer, in my humble but accurate opinion, is going to be the only way we come back to some sort of normalcy.
Paul says for this reason he kneels before his Father. Ephesus was a lot like us, divided. Paul encouraged his readers with the fact that God was on the throne and He was not only worthy and wealthy, He was willing. What a thought. All of us are related by the same Creator and can be strengthened by the Spirit according to His riches.
The real treasure here is the thought of being able to strengthen one another by the power of prayer. God uses prayer to strengthen His church and as Paul points out it keeps the church grounded in its relationship with Christ.
Paul changes gear and tags love onto the next portion of the text. This love is so great it’s beyond human understanding, filled with the fullness of God. I don’t know about you but this is what I long for day in and day out as I walk with God.
The love that connects us to a solid foundation, the kind of prayer life that helps us understand this love and grow spiritually as we try to comprehend God’s love for us. One little boy was asked “Why do you go so far and pass up so many churches to go where you go?” he answered “Cuz they luv a fella over there.”
Paul ends with a doxology that brings praise to God in which Paul points out that God can do anything we ask of Him. Neither God’s love or His power is limited by human imagination. So how does the church bring glory to God? (1) Announcing the grace of God. (2) Demonstrating the difference between life and death. (3) Telling sinners God will forgive them if they just repent.
God can exceed your expectations in prayer to bring glory to Himself by bestowing His glory on the church. I hope your church is being the church when it comes to prayer. If not, perhaps it should start with you. After all it only takes one small rock thrown in the middle of a pond to make ripple after ripple after ripple. Be the church!