Note from Jesus
I love My disciples to praise the Father! Look at Paul’s beautiful prayer in the verses below. He not only praises the Father, but he also asks for the Father’s help. In particular, this great church-planter and disciple-maker prays for the strengthening of the brothers and sisters he loves. He does not pray for generic strength, but for the Holy Spirit’s empowered strength:
Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people. Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit…
The result of this prayer for strength should make your hearts beat a little faster. While the glory for the great things that the Holy Spirit does will go to God, the people through whom the Spirit works will be folks just like you, My disciples. Notice something else that Paul prays:
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…
God can and will do “awe-inspiring things” and He will do “things greater than we could ask or imagine.” Now notice carefully how God will do these things: through the Holy Spirit, His “power that is at work in us”!
So here are several things to ponder, and then take appropriate action:
- Pray frequently for God to strengthen specific brothers and sisters in Christ through the Holy Spirit.
- Pray regularly that their work inspired by the Spirit will bring God glory.
- Pray passionately that these brothers and sisters will be used by God to accomplish — and that they get to experience — many “awe-inspiring things” done through them by the Spirit.
Paul prayed these things for the brothers and sisters who received his letter called Ephesians. You should pray these things regularly for each other. Imagine releasing the power that comes from Us — Father, Son, and Spirit — into the lives of people you love. Think about all the people in your spiritual family who need Our comfort, strength, and grace. I want you to invite the Holy Spirit to move mightily through you, your fellowship, your congregation, your home gatherings, and your small groups. Pray that you and your fellow Christians bring the Father glory and bring My grace to those around you. As you see this grace released, rejoice in the glory of Our grace and power for you!
Verses to Live
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is full of great bursts of praise and prayer. Today’s verses are an example that comes in the middle of Paul’s letter. It is part of what holds the whole message of the letter together. I want you to read through this prayer several times. Take time to write it out in your own words. Now begin to pray it for specific people. Let them know that you are praying it for them. Then give thanks when you see the Spirit at work in them!
So I [Paul] ask you not to become discouraged because I am jailed for speaking out on your behalf. In fact, my suffering is something that brings you glory.
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.
Response in Prayer
Father in heaven, please forgive me. I have spent too much time not expecting You to do any great things through me and others like me. I pray that as I read about the early church and the work of the Spirit over the next several weeks that You will help me to expect more. Help me to believe that the same Spirit Who empowered the early church will empower us today. Please strengthen us. Please strengthen me. Please strengthen those close to Me. Strengthen us with the power of Your Holy Spirit. Father, I do not pray this for us to receive glory, but so that others might believe and that You will receive the glory that is due You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.
© 1998-2017, 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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