Share with you ideas from a message I heard, preached by Ian Campbell who is pastor of Bramalea Baptist Church in Toronto. Preached at BGSE.
Read Ephesians 1:15-23
Today in baptism, 6 young people have declared that they are Christians.
We have come here today because we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Vs. 15 – “ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus…”
At some point, Paul discovered that these people were Christians.
- what did he do?
Vs. 16 – I have not stopped… remembering you in my prayers.”
Do we pray for one another?
What are we praying for?
Most of our prayers for one another revolve around physical needs. Loss of health, loss of property, loss of relationships etc. Nothing wrong with these prayers and we should keep on praying for one another in these ways.
Paul prays something different for the Ephesians. His prayer is inspiring.
I would encourage us to pray for one another, for the new members, about the things Paul prays for the Ephesians. I am praying these things for you.
Three things he prays for:
Knowledge of God
Knowledge of Hope
Knowledge of Power.
I. Knowledge of God Ephesians 1:15-17
God is so amazing.
A lifetime of learning to know Him
Mystery and wonder to discover.
That you may know Him as Father – mentioned in the text.
What is it to know God as Father?
Carla and I had plans last Monday.
Son called, “can you come and help me?”
That’s what fathers do because we love our children.
God loves us.
Do we know it?
Are we praying for one another to know God as Father?
II. Knowledge of Hope Ephesians 1:18
Imagine: The eyes of a child at Christmas.
The eyes of a bride on her wedding day.
eyes of a mother seeing her child in the school play.
What makes your eyes shine?
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you…”
“I want the eyes of your heart to shine when you know what the future holds.”
Reminder of dot illustration.
What makes your eyes shine?
Is it all the stuff of now, or is it the stuff of eternity?
Are we praying for one another that hope, that the values of eternity will cause our eyes to shine?
III. Knowledge of Power Ephesians 1:19-23
Home Improvement – “more power”
I like more power when I am doing wood projects.
Computer putting pictures on, not enough power.
Not enough power is frustrating.
Where is the power for living the Christian life? Where is the power for witnessing?
Paul prays, vs. 19
that you may know “his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
God’s power is available to us.
But notice what he says as he goes on,
What kind of power?
How dead was Jesus?
Where is He now?
Power that raised Jesus from the dead to the place above all.
If that power is available to us. What can’t he do?
Do we see God doing it?
Oswald Chambers May 24 “My Utmost…”
“God can do nothing for me until I get to the limit of the possible.”
Are we praying for one another that we will know the power of God?
I want to encourage us to pray for each other and for those who have been baptized today. For all the usual requests, but let us also pray for these things – that we will know God as Father, that we will know the hope to which He has called us and that we will know the power which is available to us for Christian living.
Sharing – How has God drawn you to Himself? How have you come to faith?
Communion – Trevor Friesen
Foot-washing – Don Dueck