Due to inclement weather, the 9 a.m. service for Sunday, Jan. 20 has been cancelled. We will have one morning service at 10:45 a.m. as road conditions improve.

A More Vibrant Prayer Life

by David Lemming

Prayer is an incredibly powerful privilege that allows us to communicate with God, the Almighty Creator of our vast universe. It is a privilege that we should wholeheartedly embrace and take full advantage of as believers in Christ. Through prayer, we have the amazing opportunity to pour out our hearts, express our deepest desires, seek divine guidance, find solace and comfort, and tangibly experience the presence of God in every aspect of our lives.

However, I too often catch myself offering prayers that are more self-centered or focused mostly on temporary matters. I tend to spend more time asking for things that are important in the present moment rather than seeking the things that hold eternal significance. I believe many of us fall into this pattern, where our prayers revolve around our immediate needs and desires rather than eternal ones.

To help us cultivate and nurture a more vibrant prayer life and align our hearts more fully with God’s perfect will, I am thrilled to invite you to embark on a transformative journey of reading and engaging in heartfelt prayers based on the biblical insights shared in Dr. Dave Earley’s book, “The 21 Most Effective Prayers of the Bible.” We are joining with thousands of other churches and Christians worldwide who are reading this book together and seeking to pray more powerful prayers to God during the first twenty-one days of the New Year. This exceptional book not only provides invaluable insights into the prayers of significant biblical characters but also offers practical guidance on how we can enhance the effectiveness of our prayers, with an emphasis on seeking and pursuing matters of eternal consequence.

As we embark on this transformative journey of exploring the profound power of prayer through our collective reading of Dr. Earley’s book, it may also be helpful for us to take a moment to reflect deeply on the timeless and inspiring words found in Ephesians 3:14-19.

In this enlightening passage, the apostle Paul, known for his godly wisdom, beautifully writes about the unifying and reconciling work of Jesus Christ. It is through His boundless grace and love that Jews and Gentiles are brought together as one unified body, known as the Church, a testament to the remarkable power of His redemptive work. This noteworthy unity not only serves as a testament to God’s limitless grace but also as a reminder that our relationship with Him has the potential to bring us blessings that exceed our human understanding. Let us, therefore, immerse ourselves in the richness of this transformative relationship and continue to explore the profound power of prayer in our lives. (Pause a moment here and read for yourself, Ephesians 3:14-19.)

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers contains three key requests. Each request builds upon the previous one, creating a magnificent progression towards the ultimate goal. The fulfillment of Paul’s third request is closely tied to the fulfillment of his second request, and the fulfillment of his second request is dependent on the fulfillment of his first request. Therefore, the most profound and significant aspect that Paul desires for these believers, as stated in his first prayer request, is to be “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.”

By referring to the “inner man,” Paul is alluding to the part of our being that is spiritually awakened and intimately connected to God. It represents our regenerated nature, which we receive as a glorious gift when we place our faith in Christ, thus experiencing the miracle of salvation. This inner man delights in God’s commandments and undergoes continuous renewal day by day. The strengthening that Paul fervently desires for the Ephesians is a direct result of the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit within us, and it is in complete harmony with the immeasurable richness of God’s glory.

When believers are fortified and empowered by the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ Himself is resident in their hearts. This signifies the idea that Christ should be “at home” in our hearts, having unrestricted access to every area of our lives to scrutinize our motives, thoughts, and actions. It is a profound call for each of us to surrender ourselves entirely to Christ and allow Him to effect a radical transformation within us, starting from the very core of our being.

Paul’s second request is for believers to grasp the immeasurable love that God has lavished upon us—an incomprehensible love that surpasses all human understanding. Paul skillfully employs directional words to vividly illustrate God’s vast and boundless love. While each direction individually emphasizes a specific facet of God’s love, Paul’s intention is to skillfully weave these words into one resounding statement, showcasing the all-encompassing nature of God’s love.

God’s love is wide enough to embrace every human being, long enough to span from eternity to eternity, deep enough to reach the unfathomable depths of hell, and high enough to elevate us into the very presence of God. The ultimate demonstration of this extraordinary love is beautifully manifested in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross, where He willingly laid down His life to atone for our sins. Despite Paul’s repeated references to the Ephesian believers as being “in Christ,” he acknowledges that their comprehension of the depth of God’s love for them may be incomplete. Consequently, Paul ardently desires for them to fully grasp and comprehend the magnitude of the love that the Creator of the universe has lavished upon them.

Before concluding his majestic prayer with a resounding doxology of praise to God, Paul presents one final request. He fervently prays that these believers may be filled with the “fullness of God.” While only Jesus Himself is capable of being filled with the complete fullness of God, Paul’s prayer is an impassioned plea for these believers to walk in an increasingly spiritual maturity and experience a deeper intimacy with God. It is a profound call for us to relentlessly pursue a heightened understanding and encounter of God’s tangible presence in every facet of our lives.

As we deeply reflect on these three remarkable requests made by Paul, we come to the realization that he is asking for exceedingly incredible things on behalf of the Ephesian believers. But can God truly fulfill these requests? In a manner that is difficult for our finite minds to fully comprehend, Paul confidently and emphatically declares, “YES!”

Ephesians 1:20 can be paraphrased and resoundingly proclaimed as follows:
“Now to Him who is immeasurably capable.”
“Now to Him who is immeasurably capable of doing.”
“Now to Him who is immeasurably capable of doing exceedingly.”
“Now to Him who is immeasurably capable of doing exceedingly abundant.”
“Now to Him who is immeasurably capable of doing exceedingly abundant beyond measure.”
“Now to Him who is immeasurably capable of doing exceedingly abundant beyond measure, far surpassing anything we could ever ask or even imagine.”
“Now to Him who is immeasurably capable of doing exceedingly abundant beyond measure, far surpassing anything we could ever ask or even imagine, and surpassing the boundaries of human imagination.”

These awe-inspiring words powerfully convey the boundless power and limitless ability of God. There are absolutely no restrictions or limitations on what God can accomplish. He is immeasurably capable of bringing to fruition far more than we could ever begin to ask or even conceive within the confines of our finite minds.

Then, Paul concludes his prayer and resounding doxology by reminding us that praise and adoration are to be offered through Christ to God by the unified body of believers known as the Church.

It is vital to acknowledge two crucial aspects of this passage in relation to the Church.

First, recognizing and comprehending God’s love are magnified and deepened through our profound connection with other believers. Paul emphasizes that through our vibrant and authentic relationships with fellow believers in the Church, we gain a deeper understanding of the immensity of God’s love. By actively participating in the Church and bearing witness to the transformative impact of God’s love on other believers’ lives, we gradually recognize the vast magnitude of God’s love for us.

Second, praise, honor, and adoration to God are to be offered collectively and harmoniously as a unified body of believers rather than solely by individual members of the Church. While individual praise and worship are undoubtedly significant, Paul’s fervent request is for both Jews and Gentiles, who have been graciously adopted as God’s children and united in Christ, to join their voices together in corporate praise. By gathering as a vibrant community of believers, we deepen our understanding and experience of God’s boundless love and amplify our collective voices as we resoundingly offer our praises and worship to Him.

Therefore, let us wholeheartedly embrace the extraordinary privilege of prayer, diligently seeking to align our hearts with God’s perfect will and continually grow in understanding the immeasurable love that He lavishes upon us. May we consistently strive to be strengthened by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, grasp the limitless vastness of God’s love, and passionately pursue spiritual maturity. And as we do so, let us wholeheartedly and harmoniously offer our praises and worship to God as a unified body of believers, deeply acknowledging and gratefully embracing the immense blessings and love that He has so graciously bestowed upon us.

You can get your copy of Dr. Earley’s moving and thought-provoking book, “The 21 Most Effective Prayers of the Bible,” at our conveniently located resource nook in the lobby of the LMBC Worship Center.

As we step into the New Year, there is no better way to start this fresh chapter of our lives than by embracing the transformative power of prayer. Through the pages of this remarkable book, you will discover the profound impact that prayer can have on our church community and how it can ignite a powerful spiritual revival within each and every one of us.

Imagine the possibilities that await as we unite in prayer, seeking God’s will and guidance for our church’s future. Together, let us embark on a journey of spiritual growth and transformation as we open our hearts and minds to the endless possibilities that God has in store for us.

Don’t wait any longer. Grab your copy of this incredible resource today and join us in ushering in a season of renewal, blessing, and divine intervention through the power of prayer.
Posted in
Posted in