The Apostle Paul has been leading us through a grand celebration of the Gospel: in Christ, by grace and through faith, we have been reconciled with God and with one another. We are alive as God’s sons and daughters. We are unified as God’s family, Jews and Gentiles together in this multi-ethnic family of God.
All of this is—as Paul puts it in Ephesians 3:11-12—through “Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.”
And now, having celebrated our bold, confident, access to God through Christ, Paul decides to show us the way as he launches into one of the most powerful prayers recorded in all the Bible.
In this sermon, we look at three key points about the power of prayer.
1) The Basis of Prayer:
There are two images at the start of the prayer. First, “I bow my knees” is throne room imagery. Second, what’s interesting is Paul says we are bowing before the Father, which is family imagery. This imagery reiterates that now, in Jesus, the blessings of God’s promise to all the nations has come true: God brings salvation to Jews and Gentiles together as one new family by grace through faith in Christ.
Our Father loves His multi-ethnic family.
So come to Him like you’re wanted, because you are!
2) The Grace of Prayer:
In the middle of the prayer, Paul articulates three prayer requests drawing on the imagery of hospitality, botany, and maturation.
The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are cultivating their abiding life in us.
God gives us Himself, to make us like Himself, so he can give us even more of Himself, so we become just like Him!
3) The Confidence of Prayer:
How do we know we’re not just wasting our breath? How can we have confidence in our prayers?
Our triune God is our hope, now and forever.
The Father’s grace. The Spirit’s power. The Son’s love. Our God is doing it all, to the praise of His glory!
Takeaway: Pray like your life depends on it—because it does!
Prayer is our lifeline to God and our abundant life in Him. Only the Father, Son, and Spirit can take us, this multi-ethnic family, and cultivate their abiding life in us so that we become glorious children of God.