PJ’s Daily Devotional for Thursday, February 2, 2017.
Have experienced the power of prayer?
I want you to hear the power and love of the Apostle Paul’s prayers for the Ephesians and for all gentile (non-Jewish) believers: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19).
Here are 4 tips about prayer we learn from Paul’s prayer:
- Address your prayers properly: “I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.” Prayer is more than a subjective experience, because it matters to whom you pray. Just like with sending an email or text message or letter, you must have a right address or you’ll get a return to sender message and your communication will not be effective. The New Testament simplifies it for us and tells us repeatedly to pray in Jesus’ name. Jesus hears our prayers and intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
- Pray per the will of God: “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” It is not only important to pray to God, but to pray in alignment to God’s character. An example of this is how I lead our church staff at the end of our staff meetings, I pray: “Lord, do not bless our plans, but bless us to be a part of your plans.” It’s a simple prayer, but powerful in effect: how easy it is for us to get going on our own way for our own good ideas. We need to submit everything to God to be done according to the riches of His glory.
- Pray for more faith: “so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith.” Hebrews 11:6 teaches us that it is impossible to please God apart from faith. Faith is the game changer in life. An example of this need for more faith is found in the neglected discipline of tithing: people don’t need more money to start obeying the conviction to tithe, they need more faith! If there is one thing the church of Jesus Christ needs more of it is substantial faith—faith that is infused with the reverent fear of God, the eternal love of Jesus Christ, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is unflinching in the face of opposition and power to invoke God’s presence and peace in the circumstances and crises of everyday life. A substantial faith gives sustenance to your life!
- Pray according to what God is capable of doing: “that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary tore down the diving place between man and God, and because of what Christ has done we are invited—commanded—to approach the throne of grace boldly, with confidence. We are to pray big prayers according to the size of our God. I have heard many people say they don’t pray big prayers because they think God has more important things to take care of like world peace; like God is too busy to hear, or God might get distracted because we prayed. That kind of attitude shows our lack of understanding of God and that is why Paul prays for you to know how BIG God is, intimately and thoroughly. Paul prays for you to filled with all the fullness of God. Wow! These are big prayers; are you praying big prayers for your family, church, community, and world?
Prayer moves mountains, starting with the mountains inside of your own heart and mind.
How have you experienced the power of prayer? Would you be willing to testify in your local church how God has moved in your life?