Praying for fellow believers

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 

Ephesians 1.15-21

To grasp something of the situation that we find here will you think yourself back  to first century Ephesus, not an easy thing to do, but we have some helpful information in the Book of Acts chapter 19.

Here a young church is growing under the leadership of Timothy, a protégé of Paul and you are a young Christian in the fellowship. Things are not easy as Ephesus is dominated by the Temple of Diana and the worship of Artemis. You have become a Christian believing through hearing the word of truth which is the gospel of your salvation accompanied by a fire-proof guarantee, namely, none other than the promised Holy Spirit.

And yet. In spite of this there are whose moments when you have wondered if it is all worth it. You are finding it hard to be in a minority. Diana Worship is oppressive. There are times when you feel like giving up and gong with the flow. Then on the First Day of the Week you go to meet with other believers and what a joy –  there is a Letter from Paul to be shared with all the believers. As you hear it read your heart is lifted. The pressures of the world begin to dim and you step out into a new week encouraged and strengthened in your faith.

Why? Because you know that Paul is praying for you and because of what he is praying which is the content of the passage above which is one of Paul’s super-sentences which he starts, and so wonderful is the content that he finds it hard to stop!

Our situation is not unlike that in Ephesus although some 2000 years separate us from the Ephesian Christians. You may be a young Christian or one of many years standing but CFC is a relatively young church. The world in which we live is dominated by many things which can oppress our Christian walk and even, sure of the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation and the guarantee of the Holy Spirit  we still need the prayers of others if we are to stand firm.

Paul had the Ephesian Christians on his heart and on his prayer list and he did not cease thanking God for them and praying for them. What he prayed we will unpack tomorrow but let the challenge for each of us today, be to pray for our fellow believers and to tell them that we are doing so!

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