Isaiah 9-10 Ephesians 3
“I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love.” (Ephesians 3:16-17 NCV)
Paul prays for the Ephesians a couple of times in this short letter. His prayers aren’t the “I’ve got nothing to do but pray” kind of prayers that we seem to thrive on; they aren’t the “You’re so bad you need prayers” kind either. He prays for them because they’re already strong in their faith and He wants God to continue to work in them. He wants the Ephesians to recognize their strength and their source of strength. He also prayed that they would show that strength that God has given them by being strong in love. It’s interesting to note that Paul didn’t pray for doctrinal purity, although he was concerned about it, he prayed for them to be able to love.
I wonder what would happen if we started praying for people to be strong in God’s love instead of gossiping about them when they do wrong or confronting them with the error of their ways. Is someone at church bothering you? Are you ready to find another fellowship because of that one person? You know who I mean. Do you pray for your church staff – especially as you think about the hard work they do in the Lord? Whether relationships are good or bad with your brothers and sisters in Christ, spend some time in prayer for them. Don’t ask God to “fix” them where they’re wrong; pray that God might give them the power to be strong in His Spirit and to have lives built on love and strong in love. Imagine what would happen if we started praying for people inside the church to be strong in the Spirit and strong in love. Imagine what would happen if we started praying for people outside the church to have those same strengths. I believe we’d see a new movement of God in our land if we’d start praying for God to bless people with His strength and with the power of His love. And I even believe that as we started praying for God to show these qualities in others, that He’d work in our own lives in amazing ways. Take the time to pray today.
Oh Lord, I think of the staff at my church and I lift them to You in prayer. I think of those who’ve wronged me, and I lift them to You in prayer also. I look at our political leaders on both sides of the aisle; for those who’ve turned away from You; for those who’ve never heard of You. Make them strong in Your Spirit. Show them Your love and let them be strong in Your love as they build their lives on love.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.