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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!


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