“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21, NIV).
This is the way in which Paul prayed for the brothers and sisters from the church in Ephesus. Today, for some it may be surprising that this prayer does not include, say, a petition for a larger home for the church, more income from offerings and tithe, or even those prayers by name for the ones from the church who are sick or have other urgent material needs. On the other hand, apostle Paul may be well surprised at the prayers we say when lifting up our brothers and sisters before the Lord. What is different about Paul’s prayer? How can we also pray in a similar way, and why is it even important to pray in this way? Read along for more information answering these questions. read more
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…” Such is apostle Paul’s attitude towards the believers he is writing his letters to. This particular quote is from Philippians 1:3-5, NIV. Each letter of Paul from the New Testament, besides the one to the Galatians, contains in its beginning a special part in which the apostle expresses his thanksgiving to God for the brothers and sisters he is writing to. The paragraph of thanksgiving is a typical part of the personal letters in Paul’s time. Unique, however, is the way in which he decides to give thanks. While the secular letters expressed thanks to the gods for various personal issues, such as health, welfare, etc. Paul thanks to God and not for issues of his own, but for the recipients of his letter – his family in Christ. read more