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 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.
There are many places in the New Testament which point us to the supremacy of Christ over all things and it is a truth that we must hold on to, proclaim in every way we can and translate into godly living and action.
If Jesus is Lord of all then the gospel must be proclaimed everywhere and to everyone. John Chapman the great Australian evangelist puts it like this.
‘If I paddle a canoe up the Amazon, Ganges, Murray or Thames Rivers and ask myself the question “Is Jesus really Lord here?”, the answer is clear. He is the Lord of heaven and earth, and therefore he is Lord here. Then it is obvious that the inhabitants need to be told this so that they can repent and submit their lives to Christ’s authority and thereby put their trust in him.’
(Know and tell the Gospel. Matthias Media. P.27 – 1998 edition)
We have been reflecting on how this truth informed Paul’s prayers for the believers in Ephesus and how we should pray for our fellow believers in the light of it, but first we must be sure that we understand and embrace the truth that Jesus, raised from the dead by God’s power is now seated at his right hand in the heavenly places far above all other powers and all other names.
We look at the history of our world and we see that powers and empires have come and gone from the beginning of time and the passing of time has done nothing to hold back men from wanting and wielding power.
Much has been written about the fact that Britain, once one of the superpowers in the world can no longer claim to be great and even the USA appears to be loosing its superpower status as exemplified in its withdrawal from Afghanistan, and in the resulting void, we Russia and China vying for the number one spot.
Now I freely acknowledge that my amateur assessment may be very different to yours as you read this, but one glorious truth cannot be disputed and that is that Jesus is Lord of Britain, the USA, Russia and China and their rulers are under his lordship whether they acknowledge it or not.
We thus have nothing to fear, for no earthly power can usurp the rule of Christ. No spiritual power can usurp the rule of Christ. No ruler of this present darkness can usurp the rule of Christ.
Paul knew those to whom his letter to the Ephesian Church was written would face challenges from earthly powers and so he prayed that they might know Christ’s great power as Lord of all.
We may feel powerless in the face of what the world is currently throwing at us. We may be cowed into silence. We may be fearful. So to pray for one another as Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers has never been more important, for as our eyes are lifted heavenward by such prayers so we will be equipped and encouraged to action.
So let us pray scripture, pray big and pray confident that the Lord of all will answer.