Thursday, June 8, 2023

Paul’s Prayer for the Church

 Thursday, June 8, 2023 Submitted by Kay Crumley

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


Paul’s Prayer for the Church – Ephesians 3:14-21 


As celebrate the ministry of Brother Van at NSBC we remember many of the changes that have happened in the past 24 years. God gave Bro. Van a vision for our church and the church accepted that vision as we built buildings. More importantly we built the body of Christ in number and also in fellowship within the body and for mission outside the walls of those buildings.  In Ephesians 3 we read that Paul was encouraging the body of believers in Ephesus to remain strong in their faithfulness to God and to the fellowship. The purpose of the Church is to bring glory to God. To be effective they need to be united. He instructed them to not lose heart in the face of tribulations. As the body at NSBC, we are potentially facing trouble as Satan will try to weaken us during this time of transition. Paul’s reminder is that our attention is to be on God and to remain faithful to His purpose. 

The final passages are a prayer by Paul for the church, the body of believers in Ephesus. This prayer applies to us as well. Paul bowed on his knees, a posture of humility that is demonstrated throughout scripture. His prayer is to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. To the Father, through the Son, by the empowering direction of the Holy Spirit. This is an example of how we are to pray. He prayed that they will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit, have Christ in their hearts through faith, be rooted in love, understand the incomprehensible love of Christ, and be filled with the fullness of God.  These are the things to pray for as we wait for God to provide. 

Paul closes his prayer with this glorious doxology or praise.   

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 20-21

For all the fear or concerns we may face in the coming months, we need to remember that we are His.  As a body of believers, we are never alone nor abandoned.  He has a purpose for our church.  That purpose is given by Him and will be carried out as we keep our eyes on Him.  He can do more that we can ask or imagine.  Just take a moment to think about that.  Not just more but immeasurably more.  We are to stay focused, as Paul wrote in Philippians 3:14 - I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.   

Bro. Van reminded us that if we bring out past into our present, we ruin our future.  North Side is a church built on grace, love, ministry, missions, and unity.  We can learn from our past and be reminded of who we are but we must press on to the high calling of Jesus to have the future He, our Lord Jesus Christ, has planned for North Side.

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