Week Of Prayer – Week 4

Rev. Doug Heiman   -  

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June 13 – Ephesians 1:15-22

This week we look at Paul’s prayers that he offered for Christians in various churches. We will find that in his prayers he gives us a deeper look into Christian theology and asks that we will be empowered to know and live out the richness of such faith in our daily lives.  

Ephesians 1:15-22, For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Paul prayed for the Spirit to enlighten these believers to know Jesus better, to know the hope to which they have been called which is the wealthy inheritance of glory in God’s holy people, and to know the same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead and elevated Him high above every other power and authority. If we can only grasp what is being asked and if we would pray this for ourselves and one another, we would be exploring the spiritual depths of our faith. May we dare to pray in faith for one another what Paul prayed for these believers. What speaks most to your heart in this prayer? 

June 14 – Ephesians 3:14-21

Paul picks up where he left off in Chapter 1 and prays that these believers would keep on understanding what they have in Jesus. Paul prays that they would jump in all the way into a limitless reservoir of spiritual wealth that would never run dry. 

Ephesians 3:14-21, For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 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, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Paul prays that they will have strength in their spirits, have power to understand and personally know the greatness of God’s love, and be filled full of God.  He concluded with one of the most encouraging benedictions in all of Scripture that Jesus is able to do so much more than we could ever ask or imagine according to His Holy Spirit power within us. What if we believed this? What if we prayed this? Will you? 

June 15 – Philippians 1:3-11

Paul has warm affection as he prays for his Philippian friends. He prays with such joy because he knows they are partners with him in the making the gospel known. Later in the this letter, he reveals that they have supported him by sending personal representatives and financial help while he has been in prison. 

Philippians 1:3-11, I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Paul prays that his friends’ love will continue to grow in order to have deeper insight into God’s ways, so they can discern God’s best, so they can be pure when Christ returns, so they will be filled with the fruit of all that is good in Jesus for the ultimate purpose that God will be greatly honored. Paul gives us great content to pray for our believing family and friends. How are you praying for them?

June 16 – Colossians 1:9-14  

Paul prays another theologically rich prayer for the Christian church at Colossae. We have heard similar themes in other prayers, but he alters the prayers just enough to make them fresh and personal for each audience.  

Colossians 1:9-14, For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Paul prays that they will know God’s will so they will live to please God, that they will be empowered to endure the challenges of life as they happily give thanks to God who has qualified them to be kingdom of light people knowing they were rescued, redeemed, and forgiven through Jesus. In your circle of relationships, who needs this prayer offered for them? 

June 17 – 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Paul offers more than the usual number of benediction prayers in his two letters to the Thessalonians. Here is one in his first letter to these believers. 

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

He prays that God will make a way for him to come visit them, that the Lord will increase their love for each other and all others, and that their hearts will be strengthened so they will be found blameless when Jesus comes. How have Paul’s prayers challenged you to pray differently or more fervently for the spiritual needs of others? 

June 18 – 1 Thessalonians 2:16-17, 3:16

Today we will look at two of his shorter benediction prayers in his second letter to the Thessalonians. 

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

2 Thessalonians 3:16, Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

These are beautiful and warm prayers that we can offer to each other. May we pray for one other to be encouraged and strengthened so that we can offer many gracious deeds and words to others. May we also pray for each other to be at peace through the peace of Jesus in all situations and in every imaginable way. How can we pray encouragement or peace for you today?  

June 19 – Blue Grass Prayer

As we prepare for worship, let us pray this prayer for one another in the Body of Christ. 

“O Glorious One, we pray that we would bring you glory by completing the work you have entrusted to us. As we go about your ministry and mission, may we know the full measure of Jesus’ joy. As we go about your work in a hostile world, we plead that you would protect us from the evil one who wants to destroy your work in us. And by the power of your word, we ask you would make us holy, a pure bride for our coming Groom. Keep us in love and unity with one another to be a positive witness to the world so they might believe that Jesus is the way to life. We deeply desire to be known as your people so that we can always be with you and see your glory both on earth and in heaven. Amen.”