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.
When Paul prayed that the Ephesians might know ‘the immeasurable greatness of God’s power towards believers’ his prayer was based on ‘God’s great might’ and rooted in that greatest of all demonstrations of power, the raising of Christ from the dead and therefore the defeat of death.
He was also praying from personal experience that this was prayer that worked. For in writing to the Christians in Philippi, his testimony was that ‘I can do all things through him (the Lord) who strengthens me.’ Philippians 4.13
In many ways we as individual believers and as churches, especially in the West, do not seem to be living at that level, confident in our standing in Christ, certain of the hope to which we have been called, and standing unafraid of what man can do to us. Is this not to our shame when unlimited power is available to us?
As we have noted previously, the Christians in Ephesus did not have it easy. There were many people and influences ranged against them and this is surely partly why Paul prayed as he did for them. In the light of the present state of our world we need to pray for one another as Paul prayed; that we might each draw on the power made available to us as God’s elect people.
The church in Ephesus grew and stood firm and when the Lord Jesus wrote his letter to them through John (Revelation 2.1-7) he acknowledged their ‘works, their toil, their patient endurance and how they could not bear with those who were evil’ v.2 but he had something against them, ‘that they had abandoned the love they had at first’ v.4
That was serious issue. There was much good but the foundations ‘the love they had at first’ were crumbling and resulted in a warning:
If they did not repent and do what they did at first their lampstand would be removed. It is historical fact that the church in Ephesus subsequently ceased to exist which is a sobering thought.
The church in the West has in many areas lost its first love while all the power that is required for it to thrive and move forward is available.
Let us pray for one another and the Church that we might know the power that is available and be able to testify with Paul,
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.