A Powerful Prayer Life Offers Boundless Opportunities
Is your first response to pray for others when you find yourself in a heap of trouble? Or do you usually pray for yourself before doing so? Perhaps, you’re worried about your own breakthrough, unable to see the needs of others. Let’s look at the powerful opportunity we have to access God’s throne of grace through prayer; not only for ourselves, but for others. Because the power of intercessory prayer is unbelievable.
Ephesians 1:19 (ESV) “…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.”
CULTIVATING A POWERFUL PRAYER LIFE
Paul shows us the boundless power of God at work in our lives. Furthermore, he demonstrates how we can pray for others before praying for ourselves (Ephesians 1:15-23). These verses are packed with all we need for a powerful prayer life.
Interestingly, an important piece of information (you might miss) is the circumstances under which Paul penned these powerful words. Ephesians is part of the prison literature of the Bible; also included: Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. Paul wrote much of the New Testament while in prison in approximately 60-62 AD.
Though written to the believers of his day, it’s applicable for our prayer lives today!
The central truth of Ephesians is unity and God’s purposes for his people. I especially love the idea that Paul “wrote this letter on his knees.”
Notably, Paul reminds us who we are in Christ and the resurrection power available to us (Romans 8:11, 2 Peter 1:2-3). Paul’s unselfish nature is remarkable. Even while imprisoned, instead of praying for his freedom, Paul prayed mighty prayers of wholeness and discernment for the believers in Christ (Ephesians 1:15-16).
Paul’s prayer encompasses three needs for us as followers of Christ: hope, inheritance, and power of God.
In order to live life to the fullest, we must know and believe in the power of our prayers because of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the Spirit given to us (vs 17). It’s important to understand, the outcome is from God, not man. Without a relationship with Jesus, we don’t have access to this boundless power, the “immeasurable greatness of his power” (vs 19). The power that knows no bounds is the resurrection power living in those who believe in Jesus.
Yes, even in our most troubling times, when we are bound up by all manner of obstacles, we have the ability to pray. We exercise our authority in Christ by praying for our friends, family, church, and the world. Moreover, Paul points us to the example of praying without ceasing and giving thanks in every circumstance (Ephesians 1:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Praying for people is not only a privilege it’s part of our purpose. A powerful prayer life is part of our inheritance as children of God. Click To Tweet
Much like Joshua’s prayer-like command over God’s people before going into battle, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened…” he was more concerned for their well-being and strength than his own (Joshua 1:9). Paul reveals to us that the hope of our calling (klēsis in Greek) is an invitation to the things of the kingdom of God and all its privileges. He rallies us to believe our prayers are effective because of the power of God’s Spirit in us.
BOUNDLESS BORDERS FOR BELIEVERS
When feeling stuck in unbelief or uneasy about trusting God, the first chapter of Ephesians reminds us of the power of prayer and how to regain our purpose.
Our boundless prayers can know no bounds when we pray with the power of God behind us.
In what ways can you begin to trust in the boundless power of a holy God who is at work in your life today? (Romans 8:11)
Are you ready for a deeper intimacy with God by stepping into the role of an intercessor (someone who stands in the gap and prays for others)?
Asking God for Fresh Faith to See Greater Things
Without a doubt, I haven’t mastered the art of trusting God to the fullest extent. To be honest, trusting feels downright awkward at times. In the moments it feels unnatural or uneasy, may our prayer be for a greater faith to be stirred up within us.
Today, I’m asking God for fresh faith. In fact, this is part of my morning ritual. Though doubt may come calling, I have learned to combat it. Oftentimes, I recite the times God has come through for me in the past. Then, even in the most difficult circumstances, I can remember He truly is trustworthy.
More On Cultivating a Powerful Prayer Life
Take note of where Paul’s prayer begins. A grateful heart keeps our focus on God’s heart and His people. The words for this reason (vs 15) point us back to everything Paul had written to this point (Ephesians 1:3-14).
In Ephesians 1, Paul reveals the monumental truth of more to come.
Paul ensures us of our inheritance of boundless borders. As believers, there’s a huge piece of territory marked with our name. When God’s people walk out their destiny and pray into their purpose, borders begin to broaden.
Indeed, God has been good in the past and promises to be so in the future through blessings of inheritance to enjoy now and for eternity.
Paul shows us the key is in giving thanks first (Ephesians 1:16). Only then, does he begin to ask God for the discernment, knowledge, and revelation needed. Acknowledging God for who He is, “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…” takes Paul’s eyes (and ours) off the current situation. With this shift, Paul powerfully prays and gives thanks.
In fact, Paul begins to pray in big, bold ways for all believers.
Likewise, Matthew teaches us to pray in this same power-posture. He directs us to seek first the kingdom of God, noting all else falls into place when we do (Matthew 6:33).
Thanksgiving brings us into the courts of God’s kingdom. There, we find our truest identity as God’s children. Like a good Father, He longs to answer our requests. There’s power in God’s presence and our praise places us right there in His midst.
Father God, thank You for the gift of Your Spirit and the power of prayer. Because You have called us as Your own, we have a purpose. Thank You for hearing our prayers, especially those for others. Help us to put others first like Paul shows us in Ephesians. Help us to pray bold and boundless prayers that bring breakthrough to all believers, the church, the body of Christ. You are all powerful. It is a privilege to find our purpose in being “called” Your sons and daughters. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
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