Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 157 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Ephesians 1 today and our focus is on The Power of Praying for Other People. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
“Teach us to pray!” Said the disciples to Jesus, and He taught them by using the Lord’s prayer/Model prayer and He taught them by inviting them along to watch Him pray like in the Garden of Gethsemane and in John 17. One other way we can learn to pray is through the apostolic prayers in the Bible – where we have Holy Spirit inspired examples of prayer, such as in our passage today:
15 This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength. Ephesians 1:15-19
Notice Paul’s emphasis on thanksgiving – he is continually thanking God for the people of the Ephesian church, and probably the other churches that he knew as well. Notice what else he prays for. That these new Christians would have a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they would know Jesus better. That their understanding would be enlightened so that they would understand the hope of their salvation better, and that they would be able to grasp and understand the wealth and blessing of salvation and the surpassing greatness of the power of God. If we better understand the wonders of salvation and the power of God, I guarantee we would be thankful more and worry less.
What do we pray for? I’ve been to hundreds of church prayer meetings. So often, we pray for health and healing and things like that. We pray for difficulties in our lives – and troubles at our work. Sometimes we pray for lost friends and family members to be saved or something like that, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve personally heard a prayer request that sounded anything remotely like Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1. That is NOT to say that praying for healing or help in troubles is a bad thing – it is not only not a bad thing…it is a good thing! But if all of our prayer energy and prayer requests and prayer time is focused on such prayer, it may be that we miss some of the higher places of prayer – the things in Scripture that we see Jesus and the apostles pray for. Consider these three Bible prayers:
- 20 “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. 21 May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. 22 I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me. John 17:20-23 – See how fervently Jesus prays for unity in His followers! Is this a common prayer for you or I?
- 9 And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11 – Behold how Paul prays for loving discernment for followers of Jesus – so that we would know and approve the very best things in our lives. Does this sound like our prayers?
- 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. 16 I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, 19 and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 Here Paul prays for people in the church to be strengthened with power through God’s Spirit and that the saints in Ephesus would be able to understand the great size and magnitude of the love of God, because when we understand the greatness of God’s love, we will be filled with His fullness! Again – does this sound like the kind of prayers we are praying?
If not – then maybe we could allow our prayers to be more informed by the prayers of the Bible. Take some time today and read up on the prayers that are listed in the Bible, and let them teach us how to pray! Let’s read our passage today.
Bible Memory verses for the month of June: Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. When Daniel was brought up from the den, he was found to be unharmed, for he trusted in his God.
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