Thursday, March 15, 2012

Apostolic prayers

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ephesians 1:1-23

TO CHEW ON: “I… do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.” Ephesians 1:15

Has anyone ever prayed over you things that you were inwardly longing for? Or perhaps someone prayed for you things you hadn’t thought of but when you heard them, something inside you responded ‘Yes!’

Ephesians 1:15-20 contains one of the great Apostolic Prayers of the Bible. These are prayers prayed by the Apostles (mostly Paul) over the early church. In his introduction to the chapter of Apostolic Prayers in his book Praying The Bible: The Book of Prayers, Wes Campbell describes Apostolic Prayers in general as fatherly, foundational, God-focused, positive and for the church. Elaborating on this last, Campbell says:
“This means that Apostolic Prayers are meant to be prayed with someone or someplace specifically in mind. These are not ‘God bless the whole wide world’ prayers! When praying these prayers for yourself, personalize them by changing the pronouns and ask that God would do these things in your own life. Then pray the exact same words over your friends and family, putting their names in the text.” – Wes Campbell, The Book of Prayers, pp. 190-191.

Let’s spend a minute unpacking the prayer in today’s reading.

1. Thanks
Paul begins by thanking God for the Ephesians. What a great thought – you and I can be the cause of gratitude. We can give thanks for others. Who in your life causes you to give thanks?

2. Wisdom, revelation, understanding
Paul prays that the church will understand who Jesus is. His request that the “eyes of your understanding be(ing) enlightened” implies that this understanding may come as an ‘aha’ moment, an epiphany, a sudden seeing of something we hadn’t grasped before.  Jack Hayford says of this ‘revelation’:
“Such ‘revelation’ refers to an unveiling of our hearts that we may receive insights into the way God’s word is intended to work in our lives. It may be used of teaching or preaching that is especially anointed in helping people see the glory of Christ and His purpose and power for them.” (Jack Hayford, “The Spirit of Revelation” in the New King James Version - NKJV - New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1646).

3. Hope
This understanding mutates into Hope.Paul talks about the “hope of His calling.” My mind goes to some of the things we are called: children of God; joint heirs with Christ; the Bride of Christ.

This hope also has to do with being aware of “the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” I think of beauty and diversity of fellow Christians – a family that spans the centuries and the globe. I call to mind my own church family.

4. Power
Paul prays that the Ephesians will grasp the immensity of the power that’s available to them. This is no mere ten-points-on-the-Richter-scale earthquake power but the very power that conquered death. And it’s available to us.

Does this prayer resonate with you? Pray it over yourself, your family, and friends today.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the people in my life. I pray that You, the God of my Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory will give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of my understanding being enlightened, I may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward me, who believes, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places. Amen.

MORE: More Apostolic Prayers (titled by Wes Campbell):

“Revival Power” – Acts 4:24-31
“Outpouring of Divine Love” – Ephesians 3:14-21
“Just Say No!” – Titus 2:11-13
“A Prayer of Prosperity” – 3 John 2
“Jude’s Doxology” – Jude 24-25

(From the archives.)

Bible Drive-Thru

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...