Saturday, October 8, 2016

Power and Praise

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

One of the most remarkable gifts you have as the Father’s child is the gift of your intercessory prayer for others. When the apostle Paul was in prison, his confinement prevented him from being with his beloved brothers and sisters in Ephesus. So as Paul was praising the Father, he seamlessly moved from praise into a prayer. The focus of Paul’s prayer was for the Father to release the presence and power of the Holy Spirit into the lives of these Ephesian Christians. This same Spirit-power tore Me from the clutches of death and raised Me from the dead.

Rather than spending a lot of time talking to you about what Paul said in the verses below, I want you to pay special attention to the two prayers in these verses. As you do, notice these three dynamics in Paul’s prayers:

  1. Paul moved from praise in prayer to intercession in prayer.

    This movement from praise to intercessory prayer was natural for Paul as he prayed led by the Holy Spirit. This kind of prayer carries great power.
  2. Paul told the Ephesians what he prayed for them.

    Intercessory prayer is often most powerful when you share the specific petitions in your prayer with those for whom you are praying. In other words, don’t just tell folks that you are praying for them; tell them what you are praying for them!
  3. Paul prayed for the Ephesians to experience the Spirit’s power at work within them.

    The Holy Spirit, the same One Who intercedes for My disciples when they pray, also releases the Father’s power into their lives.

Spend more time in praise to the Father, and as you do, you will find more of the Holy Spirit’s power being released into the lives of your brothers and sisters in My family.

Verses to Live

Paul’s life and letters are full of his prayers. These prayers helped him stay connected with My disciples scattered all over the world. As you read two of Paul’s prayers, let the Holy Spirit help you remember brothers and sisters for whom you need to pray. Pray for these dear people, and then let them know what you prayed for them.

Paul’s first prayer is in the first part of his Ephesian letter. The other prayer comes at the middle as he shifts from talking about the truths of the gospel to talking about the ways the disciples must live out those truths. Your power as a disciple to live with My character and compassion comes from knowing the truth and having the power to live it. You can release this power through your prayers of praise and intercession!

To God be all praise and glory! This is why, when I heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus that is present in your community and of your great love for all God’s people, I haven’t stopped thanking Him for you. I am continually speaking to Him on your behalf in my prayers. Here’s what I say:
God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power.

Friends, it is this same might and resurrection power that He used in the Anointed One to raise Him from the dead and to position Him at His right hand in heaven. There is nothing over Him. He’s above all rule, authority, power, and dominion; over every name invoked, over every title bestowed in this age and the next. God has placed all things beneath His feet and anointed Him as the head over all things for His church. This church is His body, the fullness of the One Who fills all in all.

(Ephesians 1:14-23)

It is for this reason that I bow my knees before the Father, after Whom all families in heaven above and on earth below receive their names, and pray:

Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people. Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts. May love be the rich soil where their lives take root. May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together with all of Your people they will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings.

Now to the God Who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, to Him be all glory in the church and in Jesus the Anointed from this generation to the next, forever and ever. Amen.

(Ephesians 3:14-21)

Response in Prayer

I praise You, gracious Father. I praise You, Lord Jesus. I praise You, powerful Holy Spirit. I praise You for Your greatness, power, and sovereignty. I praise You for the plan to redeem the mess we have made. I praise You for entering our world and planting redemption into it through Jesus. I praise You for the power of the Holy Spirit that tore Jesus from the clutches of death and raised Him from the dead. I praise You for saving Me through My faith as I shared in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection through baptism. I praise You for living inside Me through the Holy Spirit. And I ask that my spirit be fully redeemed and transformed by the Holy Spirit living within me so that Your character and grace shine out in my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

© 1998-2016, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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