Sermon Notes: Continued Prayer for the Believer

The two prayers in Ephesians complement each other. Ephesians 1:15–23 focuses on knowing what God has done for you in Christ, while 3:14–21 emphasizes experiencing His blessings.

  • The first is for enlightenment;
  • The second is for enablement.

The Reason

Ephesians 3:12‭-‬13 NIV In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

The Message

Ephesians 3:14‭-‬21 NIV 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

  • Matthew 6:9‭-‬10 NIV  “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
  • Ephesians 2:19‭, ‬22 NIV  19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being

  • Colossians 3:12 NIV Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

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,

  • 1 Corinthians 2:9‭-‬10 NIV However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— 10 the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

The four dimensions Paul now presents as the object of such perception are closely linked with the knowledge of Christ’s love. That love, exemplified in Christ’s magnanimity to the Gentiles, is too large to be confined by any geometrical measurements.

  • It is “wide” enough to reach the whole world and beyond (1:9–10, 20).
  • It is “long” enough to stretch from eternity to eternity (1:4–6, 18; 3:9).
  • It is “high” enough to raise both Gentiles and Jews to heavenly places in Christ Jesus (1:13; 2:6).
  • It is “deep” enough to rescue people from sin’s degradation and even from the grip of Satan himself

19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4‭-‬7 NIV Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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.