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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
Paul’s Prayer For His People
In the last few verses of Ephesians chapter three is recorded Paul’s prayer for these Ephesian people and I think also for each of the churches Paul had a hand in. He desired above all things that they faint not in their walk for God but remain faithful to Him. They saw the tribulation Paul suffered at the hand of Rome for them and no doubt some were ready to give up but Paul encourages them instead to rejoice because that brings glory to the church, the saints of God. In verse 14 he writes for this cause I bow my knees, I pray for you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in whom we are named as Christians. He prays that God would grant them strength in the inner man according to His riches in glory. This strength would only come through the Holy Spirit which lived or dwelled within the believer. The word dwell means for Jesus to finally settle down and feel completely at home in the heart of the saved person. This only comes when the person is rooted and grounded in Him in love. When we have complete love for Him He will have complete control of us and the things of the world will have no allurement to us. When we attain this measure in our lives then we can comprehend with other saints God’s love in it’s breadth, length, depth and height. This is a love which passes all knowledge and in turn they can be filled with the fullness of God. That brings us down to verses 20-21 where I want to get our thought for the week. Now unto Him, God, Who is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think. No matter the height of our assessment of the need or the problem we face, He is able to do more with it than we could ever think about. But that promise is contingent upon the power, or His presence, that worketh in us. If we have little room or little regard for Him then He becomes a little God for us. But if we allow Him to control us and we allow Him to feel at home in us, He will be a big God for us. It is according to His power which is in us and which is working in us. Because of that promise, unto Him will be glory in the church by, or through, Christ Jesus. The reason there is so little glory in the churches today is the people have a little God and they have Him cramped in their selfish lifestyle and won’t let Him settle down and feel at home in their hearts and let Him control them. Paul had a prayer for his people which we are going to look at as we see the praise in his prayer. Many of our prayers today are filled with wants, wishes, desires, grumblings and so on but Paul prayed with praise on his lips to the One who is worthy and due our praise.
The first thing we will look at is the Person of praise in verse 20. He says “Now unto Him”. This is God. People and churches, sadly, aren’t in the habit of giving praise to God in these days. We will praise men, singers, preachers, teachers, programs, and Hollywood but praising God has become too old fashioned in our day. Why should we praise Him? David sung a song of deliverance in Second Samuel 22 and in verse four he wrote “I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies”. We forget sometimes that He alone is worthy of our praise. He is the One who saved us, gave us eternal life, and a home in Heaven. We don’t have to go to Hell so why shouldn’t we praise Him? David wrote again over in Psalms 145:21 “My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever”. From Psalms 146 through 150 each psalm begins and ends with the words “praise ye the Lord” so I believe it is important that we, as God’s creatures, should praise Him.
Second we will look at the prompting of the praise. We have no trouble praising other for their deeds and actions. We praise sports stars for their abilities and give them awards. We praise others for their accomplishments and give them Nobel prizes. But no one has accomplished more than God. No one has the ability to do more than God but so many refuse to acknowledge Him. There is coming a day however when He will be acknowledged and praised. In Revelation 4:11 it is said of the four and twenty elders, which represent the church, that they will bow and say “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created”. But dear child of God we need to begin praising Him here and we won’t feel so out of place when we get over there.
Then let’s look at the place for the praise. I know we can praise Him anywhere and we should praise Him wherever we go but Paul tells us we are to especially praise Him in the church through Jesus Christ. There are many churches though who do not praise God because they don’t know God; they don’t know or have His holy inspired Word nor do they know Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Unless you come through Jesus Christ you cannot get access to God the Father. Paul wrote in First Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”. Jesus said Himself over in John 14:6 “I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. If we are going to praise God we are going to have to do it as we also praise His Son Jesus Christ.
Then lastly, look at the period for His praise in verse 21. The writer says “throughout all the age, world without end”. As we began to praise Him after we were saved let us realize that there will never be a time we cease to praise Him. Revelation 4:8 gives a scene from Heaven when the four beasts flew around the throne saying holy, holy, holy day and night which represents a continuous action forever and ever. David wrote in Psalms 145:1-2 “I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name forever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name forever and ever”. David knew the importance of praising the Lord and we should know it too.
Paul’s prayer for his Ephesian brethren is that they would focus on praising our Heavenly Father. Praising Him never gets old, or if it does, there may be something wrong with your spiritual condition. And may I also say, God never tires of our praise. He never gets weary of hearing us praising Him. But too many times we don’t praise Him as we should. We have our minds on many other things when they should be on Him. May God help us to honor and praise Him as we should and that will magnify Him before the world and when He is magnified everything else will seem small.