I had a chance to preach this message in Ephesians 1:15-23. Lots of good insights blogged from Chanlee Sutoyo on May 13, 2012.
A CULTURE OF PRAYER
This passage is bursting with meaning and power. It is a powerful prayer. The end of the book of Ephesians has Paul encouraging us to put on the armor of God. Likewise, this passage has both doctrine and duty.
The church in Ephesus was a model church which we want to emulate. Like the book of Ephesians, we should begin and end with prayer.
The church in Ephesus was a hub for many churches. It was an Asian church in Turkey at the main port. The letter of Ephesians was distributed from there to all the churches in the area. Paul chose Ephesus as the central forwarding center for his message. This is why the letter is called a cyclical letter.
Christianity was an infant religion at this point, but Paul was so excited to let everyone know. Imagine that Ephesians 1 is written as an email with all caps. When Paul gets to verse 15, he realizes that the creator of the entire universe wants to lavish you and me with his greatness. Paul had to pause and write down a wonderful love-prayer filled with encouragement and intercession.
Our church strives toward a culture of prayer. We have brown bags filled with index cards of prayer requests that get prayed over regularly. The power of this church is rooted in prayer, both private and public.
As we are focused on interceding for others, Paul does the same. His energy is hard to keep up with and almost overwhelming.
If you never read the CEJ, then I suggest you do so now. A few of our own members of Academii are published in this nationwide journal for Christian Education. In the most recent release of Vol 9, Spring 2012, Sudi Kate Gliebe, pp. 65 – 80, has a featured article on Helping Families Deal with Anger: A Biblical Perspective. She is finishing up her doctorate shortly at SWBTS, Texas.
I had a chance to write a book review for the book, Leading from the lion’s den. By Tom R. Harper. Nashville, TN: B&H. 2010. 219 pp.