Revd Sara’s Reflection for Sunday 10/9/23 GRACIOUS CONFIDENCE: A PRAYING CHURCH Prayer is as necessary to the Christian as breathing is to the human body. It should enable everything we do in our day-to-day lives and our churches. We know we need to pray. Yet often, it doesn’t come naturally to us.
Ephesians 3:12-21 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. 14 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.
We live in a world of crazy deadlines, commitments, and opinions. Sometimes, it feels like we are barely keeping our heads above water. Pause, take a breath, and soak in Ephesians 3:12-21. Paul’s prayer for the church of Ephesus is a reminder of how much more God wants for our lives than our short-sighted vision shows us. He wants us to be strengthened and given the power to experience just how wide and long and high and deep God’s love is for us (vv.16-18). How wonderful to know that the love God has for us surpasses our knowledge and our present circumstances (v.19). How incredible to know that we are held in the love of the one who “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (v.20). As Paul prayed for the Ephesians, so we can pray this same prayer today – that every day we would invite Jesus further into our lives. When we do, we will start to see God do more than we ever could dream possible. Let us not let the pace of our lives cause us to miss out on his love for us and the “immeasurably more” he is capable of.
Take some time personally today to soak in God’s love for you. Then begin to turn your attention towards others, particularly those who make up your church family. Recall their names. Picture their faces. Place them in the pews or the organisations they are ordinarily found in. When you can vividly picture them, read the words of Ephesians 3:16-21 aloud. As you read Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, slowly pray these words for yourself and your own church family.
love and prayers Revd Sara