Skip to main content

Ephesians 3:14: Let's Pray

We find great comfort when someone else prays for us. Over the years, when I was sick, or troubled by something I would talk to my dad and he would pray for me. To this day, I find great comfort when my father prays for me. I truly feel sorry for those who have not had the experience of a godly father praying for them. The Apostle Paul is a godly man who prays for people whom he loves with a kind of fatherly love.

In this letter to the church at Ephesus he has expounded on the great mystery of belonging to Jesus Christ. In the first two chapters he has talked about how Jesus Christ has broken down the dividing wall of hostility between us and God. We are a new race of people. Our identity is not found in Jew or Gentile. Rather, we are now the body of Christ.

In Ephesians 3, Paul begins to pray a prayer for this new race of believers. In  verse 1 he starts to pray, but gets sidetracked until verse 14. Let's look at Ephesians 3:1 and Ephesians 3:14 together.

Ephesians 3:1
[1] For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—

Ephesians 3:14
[14] For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

This is no ordinary prayer. Before we get into the specifics of what Paul is actually praying, take note the intensity of his posture. Paul says that he bows his knees before the Father. At first glance, that doesn’t seem particularly significant. We have many times bowed our knees to pray. Many churches have altar rails with the intent that people will bow to pray. It is commonplace practice for praying. But, it wasn’t commonplace for the Jews at that time.

Kent Hughes writes the following:

“ . . . It was not customary for Jews to kneel in prayer.  The ordinary posture was standing, just as we see pious Jews doing today before the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, rocking back and forth as they intone their prayers. Kneeling indicated an extraordinary event or an unusual passion. For example, when King Solomon prayed at the dedication of the Temple, he knelt on a wooden platform before all the people and lifted his hands to heaven in prayer (2 Chronicles 6:13). In Gethsemane on the eve of his death Jesus fell to the ground in agonized emotion as he prayed to his Father (Mark 14:35, 36). And when Paul made his tearful good-bye to the elders of Ephesus, he knelt with them and prayed (Acts 20:36-38).”
- Hughes, R. Kent, Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ, page 114.

Paul prays this prayer for the Ephesian church, and for the church of all times and ages. He prays with intense emotion. He is in awe of God’s amazing grace. And he is keenly aware that the church needed prayer. I am encouraged by Paul's prayer.  In the coming days you will also be encouraged as we look at this prayer, verse by verse.

What do you need prayer for?  Do you have someone to pray for you?  If so, call them and ask for prayer.  If you do not have someone to pray for you, read Paul's prayer in verses 14 through 21.  That prayer is for you!


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co