Paul’s Prayer to the Father (Ephesians 3:14-16)
Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-16
by Bob DeWaay
As Paul prays for the Ephesian Christians, he reveals truths about the nature of Christian prayer and how it is grounded in important doctrine. When Paul speaks of bowing of the knees, he implies a position submission and humility toward God. There is no particular posture necessary for Christian prayer, but our prayers should always reflect our desire to honor God for His glories and grace. In this sermon we discuss the reality that "every knee will bow" to God and ask whether we will do so now through faith in Christ, or refuse to and be forced to do so at the final judgment. Isaiah 45:23 which is also cited in Philippians 2 reflects these alternatives.
We must turn to Christ to find salvation and avoid judgment. Paul mentions God as the "Father of all Fatherhoods" which includes human and spiritual beings. His naming of all such beings shows His exalted position as Creator and sovereign over all. Paul also prays that the Christians in Ephesus would be strengthened with God's power. This happens through the work of the Spirit in the inner man. God changes believers from the inside out by His power and promises. We spend the last part of the sermon showing that prayer and God's sovereignty are compatible and that prayer must be grounded in theological truth. Those who claim otherwise either do not understand the Bible or reject it outright. In the Bible, the certainty of fulfilled prophecy motivates prayer. Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9 shows this as does the Lord's prayer. We end by referencing and refuting serious false teaching that is coming into evangelicalism. Such mystical teachings are incompatible with prayer as taught in the Bible.
Sermon slides and handout are available under the Downloads tab.
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