- Pastor Jacob Marchitell
Given during the Sunday Morning worship service on May 30th 2021
All through this 3rd chapter of Ephesians, Paul has been talking about-------
No barrier between jew and gentile
The demons are watching us
He is in prison, and is suffering
Prayer for Spiritual Strength
 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
#1) Who is he praying to?
God the Father (v.14)
God the Spirit (v.16)
God the Son (v.17)
If we want to be able to have our prayers heard, we pray to God and God alone.
Every muslim prayer, falls on the ears of demons
Every prayer, from every hindu, buddhist, jew, mormon, jehovahs witness, and every pagan, ------ ----- -----
Is spoken to no one, and no one hears them
Their gods are fake, pretend, fictitious, figments of their imagination
And if any creature hears their prayers, it is nothing but a demon
Only God can be prayed to
The universe can not hear your prayers----
You can not send good vibes to other people, thats not a thing that humans can do
Everytime someone says they will be praying for you ------ but they are not a Christian, or only a christian by name and then go and live their life with no regards to what Scripture actually teaches…… they are doing 1 of a few things:
Lying to you...
Saying they will pray because it makes them feel good about themselves, to think that you think they are nice enough to pray....
Or thinking words in their head and assuming that it means something
All through Scripture we can see that God doesn't hear the prayers of the wicked and unrepentant
Proverbs 28:9 - If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
Isaiah 1:15 - When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.
Proverbs 21:13 - Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, Will also cry himself and not be heard.
Psalm 66:18 - If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened
If you are going to pray to someone, pray to the God of the Bible.
All the unbelievers and the casual “Christians” who live their life arranged and ordered around their own beliefs----
God does not hear their prayers
And if you want God to hear your prayers, then repent of your sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
All other prayers --------- are empty, selfish, hollow, directed at fictitious and pretend gods, or directed at demons pretending to be god.
Paul then goes on to give a qualifier to about the one to whom he is praying.
“....from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…”
The God to whom we pray is not some weak, soft, influenceable man made deity.
He is the God of all reality, and every family in all of reality….exists because of Him.
Who your parents are---
Who your parents aren't---
If you are raised by your birth parents or not---
If your siblings are yours by blood or otherwise---
If you want your prayers to be heard, repent and believe in the God who created and named your family.
#2) What is he praying for?
So now that we know to whom Paul is praying…...and thus we can know who to direct our prayers towards
Either the Father
Or the Holy Spirit
We can ask what is he praying for.
Not only that, but we can dig a little deeper, and see the circumstances surrounding what he is praying for.
Right off the bat, we can see that he is praying for the Christians in Ephesus to have strength in their inner being.
Your inner being
This is what Paul was talking about in Chapter 1 when he prayed to have the eyes of their hearts enlightened.
Who we truly are, deep inside the center of our soul …… needs strength.
We need spirit level strength---
Soul level boldness and confidence---
Surface level lives we all live in front of our friends and family-----
Should be weak and broken and humble and small
Which stands in contrasts to the way this world thinks and acts
This world calls you to raise yourself up----
Make a name for yourself---
Sell yourself to your employer
To your friends---
To rise up and let everyone see how strong you are----
But the bible tells us to GLADLY boast in our weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may move through us
Do you want to be strong outwardly for all the world to see?
While remaining dead and weak on the inside?
Or do you want to be strong on the inside, where God can see?
Regardless of how this world perceives you?
One other thing needs to be said:
And it has to do with something we have been talking about all throughout the book of Ephesians.
Paul is writing this from a prison cell.
The government of his country legally imprisoned him for being a Christian…
And he is praying for other people to be strong.
Are we secure enough in our faith, that even government sanctioned persecution cant stop us from praying for other Christians and other Churches?
If they are strengthened in their inner being…...will it strengthen us in our time of need?
Can we pray for other people even though we ourselves are having a hard time?
You see, this gets right into verse
 -----may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (ESV)
“With all the saints”
“With all the saints”
There is no such thing as a lone wolf Christian.
No matter how strong we think we are---
On the inside or the outside
No matter how bold our faith may be---
Regardless of if our family is a strong Christian family---
Regardless of how long we have been a Christian
Who our parents are
Who our Pastor is
Regardless of every circumstance in this world----
We were planted in a Church.
A Christian that says they do not need to go to Church---
Is a Christian willingly standing outside the safety of the pack when the devil comes roaring seeking whom they can devour.
We need one another
We need to help one another
We need to lift one another up
Pray for one another
Ask for prayer from one another
When one of us is hurt-----the entire body feels it
When one of us is struggling in sin-----the entire body is sick
Yes if a Christian were somehow stranded on a deserted island, cut off from the rest of the body----- they would have their ups and downs in their faith and their walk with God---- but God would preserve their faith
But im going to go out on a limb, and say none of you here today are stranded on a deserted island.
Again… look at what where Paul is as he rights this, and what he is praying for.
He is cut off---
Only allowed visitors at the whim of the government---
He is secluded--
And is praying that other Christians work together with their brothers and sisters in the faith.
Are are here, at Christ Community Church of Clyde ------ intentionally
You didn't surprise God by coming to this Church
Meeting together--- fellowshipping together---
Worshipping together--- Learning together---
Praying together--- Praying for one another---
Are you being filled with pride? Arrogance? Self Serving?
Regularly gathering with other Christians will humble you
Are you hurting? Weak? Falling to the same sin over and over again?
Building and maintaining personal relationships with other Christians will strengthen you in your inner being.
Is your faith struggling-----gather with other Christians
Is your life in a hard place right now ---- gather with other Christians
Being a Christian, means regularly gathering with the Saints.
#3) Why is he praying for it?
So we know that Paul is praying to God
We know he is praying for other Christians to be strengthened in their inner being, despite himself being legally imprisoned by a tyrannical government
We know that he wants them to be strengthened along with all the other saints
And then in closing were going to ask WHY?
Why does he want them to be strengthened?
Will it give him strength, during his imprisonment, if he knows they are doing ok?
Will it give him peace, knowing that his suffering is bearing fruit among the people of God?
Yes and yes
But the main reason why he is praying, we can see in verses 17-19
 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
We are called-----
And God is working in us----
Through His word---
Through the worship service of our local Church---
Through our prayers---
And through the prayers of our brothers and sisters---
To fill us with the love that surpasses understanding.
God isn't going to leave us here, subjected to the winds and waves of a fallen world….without guidance.
Without direction and strength
And the love of Christ that He is working in us….every moment of every day…..
Surpasses our knowledge
We aren't going to SQUEAK BY into eternity
We wont BARELY make it
We will be continually sanctified and transformed into the image of Christ
Loving the unlovable and undeserving
Caring for the weak and poor and unfortunate
Boldly proclaiming the truth that Jesus Christ is God, He alone can hear and answer prayers, and through the repentance of sins and belief in Him can we live a life beyond whatever this world has to offer.