298. A COMPILATION OF PRAYERS BASED ON EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2

In a series of recent articles I have looked at successive passages from Chapter 2 of the Epistle to the Ephesians and recorded some notes on those passages. I also composed the following prayers that were an attempt to pray back to God what He has revealed to us of His character, plans and purposes in those scriptures. [For convenience readers will find that clicking on the Blog numbers in the titles will take them to the original articles.]

EPHESIANS 2:1-7. A SUGGESTED PRAYER. Thanking God For The Freedom He Gives Us In Christ. [Biblical Text, Prayer and Notes are found in Blog No 293]

 “Heavenly Father, We thank You that though we were dead in our sins, You made us spiritually alive in Christ.

We thank You that when we were held in bondage by our three main enemies, You brought us liberty.

  • You set us free from the power of the enemy around us, the pressure of the unbelieving world, as we began to trust in You.
  • You set us free from the enemy against us, Satan and the powers of darkness, so that we became free to live as You wanted us to live.
  • You set us free from the enemy within us, our old nature, so that we could live for You by Your grace and power.  

We thank You too that in Your great love and mercy for us, You made us alive with Christ and made us to sit with Him in the place of honour and acceptance at Your right hand.

We thank You that You have shown us, and will continue to show us in the days ahead, just how much You love us.

Accept our grateful thanks for all Your mercies to us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN!”

EPHESIANS 2:8-10. A SUGGESTED PRAYER. Thanking God For The Salvation He Offers To Us As A Gift In Christ. [Biblical Text, Prayer and Notes are found in Blog No 294]

“Gracious Father,

We thank You for Your amazing grace so freely bestowed on us.

We thank you that when we could do nothing to save ourselves, You sent Jesus to save us.

We thank You that our salvation didn’t come to us as a reward for our good works. Rather in Your mercy and grace, it came to us as we received salvation as a gift in Him.

We thank You that You have made us for Yourself as Your own possession and that You have a created us to fulfil Your eternal plan and purpose for us.

We thank You for the good works You have prepared for us to walk in. Give us the wisdom to know Your will for us, and the ability to walk in Your ways, in the power of Your Holy Spirit.

We ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN!”

EPHESIANS 2:11-13. A SUGGESTED PRAYER.  Thanking God For The Joy Of Belonging To Him And To His People. [Biblical Text, Prayer and Notes are found in Blog No 295]

“Oh Father, what it a joy it is to belong to You and to Your people. We thank You for all You have done through Jesus’ death on the cross to bring us back to You. We thank You that we are no longer separated, no longer alienated and that we have a sure hope because we belong to You. We thank You that You are our God and that we are now Your people.

Lord Jesus, we want to show our appreciation for all You have done for us, by enthroning You as our Lord and by serving You as our Master.  We pray these things in Your own precious name of Jesus. AMEN.”

EPHESIANS 2:14-16. A SUGGESTED PRAYER. Thanking God That Hostility Between Humans Can Come To An End, In Christ. [Biblical Text, Prayer And Notes Are Found In Blog No 296]

“Heavenly Father, we thank You that Jesus died to brings us back to You. We thank You that He has made it possible for people from all backgrounds to live in unity in Him. We thank You that in Him we all belong to the one body of Christ He has established in His world. We thank You that forgiveness of our sins and acceptance into Your family are offered freely to us in Him.

Help us to remember the incredible cost it was to Him as He hung on the cross for our sakes, so that we might be wholly committed to Him for the rest of our lives. We ask this in Jesus’ name and for His sake. AMEN.”

EPHESIANS 2:17-22. A SUGGESTED PRAYER.  Thanking God For The Joy Of Belonging! [Biblical Text, Prayer and Notes are found in Blog No 297]

 “Oh Lord, what a privilege it is to belong to You and to Your people! When we were nothing and had nothing of eternal value, You enabled us to hear the good news of what Jesus has done for us. We thank You that when we put our trust in Him, You allowed us to have access to You in prayer by Your Spirit.

We thank You that You have adopted us into Your family and that we belong to You and to all the other members of Your family throughout the world.

We pray that You will be glorified as You take up residence in every part of our lives  and that others may see and experience your presence in and through our lives, as we offer them to You. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.”

Blog No.298 posted on www.jimholbeck.blog on Sunday 21st October 2018.

NOTE:- The Compilation of the prayers from the articles on Ephesians chapter 1 can be found here.

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297. Praying through Ephesians. Ephesians 2:17-22. Being thankful for the joy of Belonging!

What a transformation! From being a nobody, to being a somebody! From having nothing, to having a great inheritance. From being an outsider, to becoming someone who belongs! To God! To His people! To being part of His eternal purpose for humankind! What praise is due to God!

 THE PASSAGE FROM EPHESIANS 2:17-22

Eph 2:17 “And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

 A PRAYER BASED ON EPHESIANS 2:17-22

“Oh Lord, what a privilege it is to belong to You and to Your people! When we were nothing and had nothing of eternal value, You enabled us to hear the good news of what Jesus has done for us. We thank You that when we put our trust in Him, You allowed us to have access to You in prayer by Your Spirit.

We thank You that You have adopted us into Your family and that we belong to You and to all the other members of Your family throughout the world.

We pray that You will be glorified as You take up residence in us and that others may see and experience your presence in and through our lives, as we offer them to You. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.”

 SOME NOTES ON THE PASSAGE. EPHESIANS 2:17-22

How Jesus Established Peace.  2:17

  • Eph 2:17 “And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.” The “far off” were the Gentiles who were far off from God, from the promises of God and from the people of God. The “near” were the Jews who had the privileges of being the recipients of the covenants and promises of God, “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” Rom 9:4-5.
  • We saw that Jesus preached good news during His ministry and spelt out the foundation for how peace would be established through His death. For example as He celebrated the Last Supper, He indicated that peace through forgiveness would come through His death, “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Mat 26:27-28.
  • He promised a sense of peace in giving rest to those who were troubled, Mat 11:28 “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
  • After His resurrection, His first word to His gathered disciples was “Peace!” (Lk 24:36, “As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” See also Jn 20:19, 21.) He said a similar thing a few days later, Joh 20:26 “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you’.” Jn 20:26.
  • Not only did Jesus speak about peace, He actually accomplished the reality of peace through His death and subsequent resurrection.

 What Resulted From His Efforts To Bring Peace?

  • Common access to God! Eph 2:18 “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” When people from Jewish or Gentile backgrounds responded to the gospel message and trusted in Christ, they were born again of the Holy Spirit of God. They gained access to God by His Spirit.
  • Incorporation into the people of God and the family of God! Eph 2:19 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Through Christ they were no longer outsiders. Rather, they now belonged. To God and to the family of God!
  • Establishment on a sure foundation. Eph 2:20 “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.” The Gentile believers were not just a recent addition to the purposes of God. They too were built on the same foundation as the Jewish believers, especially on Christ as the cornerstone.

What was God’s intention in bringing Jew and Gentile believers together in Christ?

  • To create a holy presence on earth. His presence! By His Spirit! Eph 2:21 “in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” The temple was the symbol of the presence of God among His people.
  • The growth into a holy temple would be numerically as more came to Christ. But it would also be spiritually as they matured together in Christ, Eph 2:22 “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” God living in and among His people! By His Holy Spirit! Indwelling His people.

No wonder Paul wanted his readers in Ephesus to understand just who they were in Christ and what they possessed, in Him!

Blog No 297 was posted on http://www.jimholbeck.blog on Saturday 20th October 2018.

 

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296. Praying through Ephesians. Ephesians 2:14-16. In Christ, Hostility Gives Way To Peace

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love, It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” These are the words of a popular song from many years ago. Perhaps it is true to say that our world is in much greater need of love now, than ever before. There is just so much hostility between different groups of people and we wonder if peace can ever become a reality in today’s world.

The good news is that it is possible for such a world to exist. Jesus has made it possible as the Prince of Peace. But there are conditions for that to happen. We read about those conditions in this passage from Ephesians.

THE PASSAGE FROM EPHESIANS 2:14-16

Ephesians 2:14 “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”

 A PRAYER BASED ON EPHESIANS 2:14-16

“Heavenly Father, we thank You that Jesus died to brings us back to You. We thank You that He has made it possible for people from all backgrounds to live in unity in Him. We thank You that in Him we all belong to the one body of Christ He has established in His world. We thank You that forgiveness of our sins and acceptance into Your family are offered freely to us in Him.

Help us to remember the incredible cost it was to Him as He hung on the cross for our sakes, so that we might be wholly committed to Him for the rest of our lives. We ask this in Jesus’ name and for His sake. AMEN.”

 SOME NOTES ON THE PASSAGE FROM EPHESIANS 2:14-16

 Jesus Is The Source Of Peace

  • Eph 2:14 “For he himself is our peace.” Paul, as he wrote, made it emphatic that Jesus Himself is our peace. He as a Person is the agent, the source and the distributor of peace. He was the agent in bringing peace through His death on a cross. He is the source of peace because the peace that exists in Him is to be found only in Him. He is the distributer of His peace as He explained in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
  • This peace is not just some abstract feeling but is embodied in a Person. When one has received the Person, one has received the peace in Him. That peace can become manifest in our own experience as we allow the Prince of Peace, Jesus, to rule in our lives. If one does not receive the Person, one cannot receive the peace He only offers in Himself.

 What Jesus Did To Establish Peace

  • 2:14 “….who has made us both one.” Paul has been writing about the Jews and the non-Jews, the Gentiles. Instead of an ongoing divide between these two groups, a oneness was now possible, but only through Christ. When individuals from both groups received Jesus as Saviour and Lord they were united in Him because they received the same Holy Spirit to indwell them.
  • “and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” The wall of hostility appears to have been a reference to a wall in the Temple that separated the Court of the Gentiles from all the inner courts. It was a “hostile” wall because it apparently warned of the danger to any Gentile who tried to enter further into the temple. But Christ by His death had “entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” Heb 9:12. The symbolism behind the wall had been taken away and the way was now open for all to enter into the presence of God, through Him. The way for both Jews and Gentiles to enter into a relationship with God if they came through faith in Jesus.

 How Did He Remove The Hostility?

  • Eph 2:15 “by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances.” The law with its commandments and associated ordinances created a great barrier between Jews and Gentiles, for the former were meant to live by that law and to fashion their lives according to that law. The Gentiles were under no such obligation unless they wanted to become people of the law themselves.
  • But a new thing had happened. Jesus had come. He had come to fulfil the law by obeying it perfectly. At last a human had fulfilled the law in its entirety. Not only that but He died on the cross to bear the punishment for all the transgressions of the law. In that sense the law was fulfilled doubly, by His life and by His death. It was as though it had been abolished as a means of drawing near to God. A new and living way had been established by Jesus and could be entered into, through faith in Jesus.

 For What Purpose Did Jesus Remove The Wall Of Hostility?

  • “that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace.” The two of course referred to the Jews and the Gentiles. But Jesus had united them into one new man in Himself. Because they were one in reality, there could be peace between them, in Him.
  • Eph 2:16 “and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility”. The same truth is expressed as in the previous verse, but in different terms. A twofold reconciliation had become possible in Jesus. Believers from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds had been reconciled to God and also to one another through what Jesus had done on the cross in achieving that reconciliation. It meant that as one people united to one another through their faith in Jesus, the hostility could cease. It was inappropriate and unnecessary for the new people of God from different backgrounds to be hostile to one another. They now belonged to one another in the same body of Christ and in the same family of God.

Blog No.296 posted on www.jimholbeck.blog on Saturday 20th October 2018

 

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295. Changing The World Through Prayer. Prayer Based On Ephesians 2:11-13. The Joy Of Belonging!  “Brought Near” By Jesus’ Death

The joy of belonging! Only when one has known the sadness of being isolated and alone can one really appreciate the joy of belonging. In this passage Paul describes a group of people who were nothing and had nothing to boast about [in the eyes of many who believed themselves to be privileged.] He writes to tell them what God had done in His amazing grace and love to make them belong to Him and to His family.

THE BIBLE PASSAGE FROM Ephesians 2:11-13

Eph 2:11 “Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” 

A PRAYER BASED ON Ephesians 2:11-13

“Oh Father, what it a joy it is to belong to You and to Your people. We thank You for all You have done through Jesus’ death on the cross to bring us back to You. We thank You that we are no longer separated, no longer alienated and that we have a sure hope because we belong to You. We thank You that You are our God and that we are now Your people.

Lord Jesus, we want to show our appreciation for all You have done for us, by enthroning You as our Lord and by serving You as our Master.  We pray these things in Your own precious name of Jesus. AMEN.”

 SOME NOTES ON Ephesians 2:11-13

In Ephesians 2:11-13, the Gentiles [non-Jews] are described in many negative terms. However the passage ends on the positive note that those who were once ‘far off’ have been ‘brought near.’

The following are some of the negative terms used of the Gentiles [non-Jews].

  • They were called the “uncircumcision” by those called the “circumcision.” In other words the Jews at the time saw the Gentiles as being different, as not belonging because they didn’t bear the “mark” of belonging, the mark of circumcision.
  • “separated from Christ.” “Separated” is the word [chōris, χωρίς which can mean simply “without.” They were “without” Christ in the world. So are all people until they receive Him. As John wrote in his prologue, He came to His own people but even many of them didn’t receive Him, Joh 1:11 “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” However there were those who did receive Him from among His own people, 12 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”   The same privilege also applied to the Gentiles who were willing to receive Him. They no longer were without Christ. No longer separated from Christ.
  • “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel.” They were without citizenship in the nation of Israel.
  • “and strangers to the covenants of promise.” Promises had been made to the heirs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but they did not apply to those outside that covenant relationship.
  • “having no hope.” Hope is something certain because it is based on the promises of God. It is made real by faith. Faith brings substance to our hopes. But hope is bound up with Christ. Apart from Him there is no hope. In receiving Him, one takes hold of the hope that exists only in Him.
  • “and without God in the world.” They may have been creatures of God the Creator, but they weren’t in a relationship with Him. They existed but did not have a relationship with Him. God allowed them to exercise their free-will in rejecting Him. He was there for them but He awaited their openness to Him before He entered their “personal space.”

“BUT”

What an incredibly powerful and life-changing word! Paul had been describing just how it was when God was excluded from people’s lives but something happened that meant changes were possible. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” verse 13.

  • They were now “in Christ” rather than being “without Christ” or “separate from Christ.” They were now in a relationship with Him as His followers.
  • They were once “far off”. Far off from God. Far off from the promises of God. Far off from the covenants of God. Far off from the people of God.
  • What happened? They were “brought near.” Near to God. Near to His people. Near to His plan and purposes for them. Near to His covenants. Near to His saving grace.
  • How did it happen? “By the blood of Christ.” verse 13. Something major had to happen for that nearness to come into effect. Jesus had to die. It was only His shed blood on the cross that made that approach to God possible. No one else’s! Only His! Extremely costly, but completely successful!
  • The writer to the Hebrews explained the necessity for the death of Jesus, for his readers from a Jewish background, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh.” Heb 10:19-20.

Praise God that when everything seems to be hopeless and there seems to be no way ahead, change is possible. The words “But God” assure us of the possibility of change.

  • Sinners are in a hopeless situation “’but God’ shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 5:8.
  • When we feel we are insignificant we can be encouraged because we read, “’But God’ chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” 1 Cor 1:27-29.

Once “far off”! BUT GOD! Now we “are near”. Now we belong to Him and to one another in the family of God in Him!

 Blog No.295. Posted on www.jimholbeck.blog on Thursday 18th October 2018.

 

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294. Changing The World Through Prayer. Praying Through Ephesians 2:8-10

How good do you have to be to get into heaven? It surprises some people to discover that being “good” is not the criterion for entering into heaven. Rather it is through the new and living way [Heb 10:20] into the presence of the Father through what Christ has done for humankind in His life, death and resurrection.  Salvation is seen as a gift in Him rather than being any sort of reward for human effort. This is beautifully described in the passage from Ephesians 2 and verses 8 to 10.

THE PASSAGE FROM EPHESIANS 2:8-10

Eph 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”.

A SUGGESTED PRAYER BASED ON EPHESIANS 2:8-10

“Gracious Father,

We thank You for Your amazing grace so freely bestowed on us.

We thank you that when we could do nothing to save ourselves, You sent Jesus to save us.

We thank You that our salvation didn’t come to us as a reward for our good works. Rather in Your mercy and grace, it came to us as we received salvation as a gift in Him.

We thank You that You have made us for Yourself as Your own possession and that You have a created us to fulfil Your eternal plan and purpose for us.

We thank You for the good works You have prepared for us to walk in. Give us the wisdom to know Your will for us, and the ability to walk in Your ways, in the power of Your Holy Spirit.

We ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN!’

SOME NOTES ON THE PASSAGE FROM EPHESIANS 2:8-10

SALVATION. The verb “saved” is from sōzō, σώζω meaning to save or to heal or to make whole. The [perfect] tense of the verb indicates a past action with a present abiding result. They were saved when they trusted in Christ and they remained saved as His followers!

What salvation is

  • from grace. 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved …” God’s unmerited favour indeed!
  • through faith. 2:8 “… saved through faith.” Faith is trusting God.
  • the gift of God. 2:8. “it is the gift of God”. Faith means trusting God and accepting the gift He offers [the gift of His Son, salvation and all that is to be found IN HIM!]

 What salvation isn’t

  • Not our own doing. 2:9 “not a result of works”. Our works are not the means to salvation.
  • Not a ground for boasting. 2:9, “so that no one may boast.” Faith is the only means to receiving salvation.
  • Not of works. As the old hymn has it, “There was no other good enough, To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate, Of heav’n and let us in.” No one at any time has been, or ever will be, good enough, to enter into heaven.

 What then is the place of good works in the life of the “saved” believer?

  • God created us as a “good” work. We are His “workmanship.” The word is poiēma; ποίημα meaning a product. In this case, a product made by God for a special purpose! (Some translations ‘brush up’ this ordinary word with meanings such as “masterpiece” or “God’s own handiwork.” However the real significance in not in what is made but in WHO made it. The Creator Himself must always have precedence over what is created no matter how wonderful that creation may be.)
  • Believers are created for good works. “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Re-created in Christ to do His thing, not ours! The “good works” as He sees them, not as we see them!
  • The good works prepared for us. “which God prepared beforehand.” Word is proetoimazō,   προετοιμάζω which is used only twice in the New Testament. What does God prepare beforehand? Us, and the works we are meant to do. [Us, as in this passage, Rom 9:22 “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24  even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?” Wow! A vessel of mercy prepared beforehand for glory! But there are good works to do in the meantime. His works! Not ours!
  • The good works are meant for us to walk in. “that we should walk in them.” The word “walk” is peripateō, περιπατέω meaning to walk around or to regulate one’s life. The impression given is that all the good works have been prepared beforehand by God Himself and have been laid [out on the ground as it were] for us to walk in.

In many ways this echoes what Paul wrote in Philippians 2:12-13 where he described God’s grace at work in bringing His people the motivation and the empowering to do what He wanted them to do. i.e, Php 2:12, Philippians 2:12-13”Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

They were to “work out” in practice what God was working in them. Or as in Ephesians, they were created in Christ Jesus to “walk” in the paths God had eternally planned and prepared for them to walk in.

Blog No.294. Posted on www.jimholbeck.blog on Friday 12th October 2018

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293. Changing The World Through Prayer. Praying Through Ephesians 2:1-7

Introduction

The following article quite rightly has God’s word from Ephesians chapter 2 as pre-eminent. Then follows a suggested prayer based on that passage. [God’s revealed truths expressed to Him in believing prayer.]

Finally I have added SOME NOTES on the passage to help folk gain an even greater appreciation of what God’s word is saying to people in today’s world.

THE PASSAGE FROM EPHESIANS 2:1-7.

Eph 2:1 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

 A SUGGESTED PRAYER BASED ON EPHESIANS 2:1-7.

“Heavenly Father, We thank You that though we were dead in our sins, You made us spiritually alive in Christ.

We thank You that when we were held in bondage by our three main enemies, You brought us liberty.

  • You set us free from the power of the enemy around us, the pressure of the unbelieving world, as we began to trust in You.
  • You set us free from the enemy against us, Satan and the powers of darkness, so that we became free to live as You wanted us to live.
  • You set us free from the enemy within us, our old nature, so that we could live for You by Your grace and power.  

We thank You too that in Your great love and mercy for us, You made us alive with Christ and made us to sit with Him in the place of honour and acceptance at Your right hand.

We thank You that You have shown us and will continue to show us in the days ahead, just how much You love us.

Accept our grateful thanks for all Your mercies to us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN!”

 SOME NOTES ON THE PASSAGE FROM EPHESIANS 2:1-7

1.]        The Bad  and News About Our Human Situation

Once Spiritually dead in sin! Eph 2:1 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins”

Once Spiritually bound in sin! Controlled by the 3 enemies of humans.

  • The World. 2 “in which you once walked, following the course of this world”
  • The Devil. “following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—”
  • The Flesh. 3 “among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,
  • The Result of giving way to the above 3 enemies of humans. God’s revealed assessment! “and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

2.]        The Good News About What God Has Done About Our Human Situation

i]. His motivation for helping us. Mercy. Great Love!

 Eph 2:4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,”

  • BUT! Is there a chance something could change our human predicament?
  • BUT GOD! Every chance when God is involved!
  • GOD IS MERCIFUL. “being rich in mercy!” Mercy, not just pity, but compassion in action.
  • GOD IS LOVE! “because of the great love with which he loved us,” Love acted in Jesus.

ii]. His Method for Helping Us [Made Us Alive With! Raised Us Up With! Seated Us With HIM!]

  • From spiritual death to spiritual life! Eph 2:5 “[God] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—” [Grace, mercy and love acted!] From death to life!
  • From spiritual bankruptcy to spiritual authority. Eph 2:6 “and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” God declares that He has identified us with Christ in His death [2 Tim 2:12], burial [Col 2:12], resurrection [Col 2:1] and His sitting at the right hand of God.

iii]. His purpose in helping us

Eph 2:7 “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” God longs to display His rich gracious kindness to His people to encourage others to recognise His character and to draw upon His mercy and grace.

Blog No.293. Posted on http://www.jimholbeck.blog on Thursday 11th October 2018

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292.  “LET US PRAY!” A Compilation Of Prayers Based On Ephesians Chapter 1. (Changing The World Through Believing Prayer.)

Memories may fade but I seem to recall Sunday nights as a child in Gympie in Queensland hearing a radio programme on station 4GY of the famous Bishop Fulton Sheen of the USA that began with the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. They were these, “More things are wrought by prayer, Than this world dreams of.”  Apart from his rich compelling voice I can’t recall anything the Bishop ever said. But Tennyson’s words have remained in my mind for over 70 years.

Many of us have seen marvellous answers to believing prayer, some beyond our wildest imagination. For this reason I began to look at the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians which has these wonderful inspiring words, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Eph 3:20. What an incentive, to pray to such a God who can do that! I began the study at Ephesians 1:1.

In my previous article I said that I would prepare a compilation of prayers based on the truths of Ephesians chapter 1 which I have included in previously posted articles.  What follows are the compiled prayers. [A click on the article numbers in the title will take you to that article if you wish to read the passage and some notes on the passage.]

Ephesians 1:1-2.  No.192. A gracious greeting about God’s love and peace.

A Suggested Prayer

“Heavenly Father we thank You that You called Paul to be an apostle to share the good news about You. We thank You that You inspired him by Your Holy Spirit to record these words so that You would use them to bring blessing to countless generations.

We thank You that through the gospel You call your people to be set apart to belong to You as your saints. We pray that we may become more and more holy in our thoughts, words and deeds so that Jesus may be seen in and through our lives.

We thank You for Your amazing grace in calling us to respond to You, and that by Your grace, we have been saved through faith. We thank You that like St Paul, we have come to know peace with You as the God of peace and that we can know Your peace in our hearts and minds to keep us safe.

Help us Lord to live by the power of Your Spirit so that we may bring glory to You in all we say and do. We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour Amen.”

Ephesians 1: 3.  No.193. Thanking God for what we have in Christ. 

A Suggested Prayer

“Heavenly Father, we thank You for all You have done for us in Jesus. We thank You for all You have given us in Him. We thank You that You have blessed us in Him with every spiritual blessing. We thank You that through faith, we are the children of Abraham and that we have been blessed by You to be a blessing.

Help us Lord to realise that this world is not about us, but that it is all about You. It’s about Your purpose to bless the world in Your love. We thank You that we are the recipients of Your love.  We thank You that we have the wonderful privilege and responsibility of being instruments of Your love and blessings to others in this world.  

Grant us the wisdom to know Your will and the power to do it in the power of Your Holy Spirit, so that we might fulfil Your purpose for us. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN!”

 

Ephesians 1: 4.  No.284. Thanking God we are chosen by Him to fulfil His purpose for us in His world.

A Suggested Prayer

“Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your amazing grace in choosing us to belong to You before the world was made. 

We thank You too that You had a purpose in choosing us, that we should be set apart from the world’s ways and its values to belong wholly to You. 

We thank You that in Your love and power You give us the grace to live holy lives before You. Forgive us for the times we have not drawn upon Your grace and failed to be Your holy and blameless people.

We thank You for Your promise in Your word that You are able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before Your presence in glory with great joy.”

Please fulfil Your purpose in our lives as we continue to offer ourselves completely to You. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN.”

 

Ephesians 1: 5.  No.286. “Blessing God Who Blesses His People By Adopting Them Into His Family.”

A Suggested Prayer

“Heavenly Father, we thank You that in Your eternal plan and purpose You chose to adopt us into Your family as Your children. We thank You that we came into Your family when we put our trust in Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. We thank You that Your grace has been poured out on us in Your beloved Son. Enable us to continually praise You for Your goodness and grace to us in bestowing those blessings on us in Him. Accept our thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.”

 

Ephesians 1: 7-10.  No.287. Ephesians 1:7-10. Thanking God for the unity He brings, in Christ, to diverse peoples.  

A Suggested Prayer

“Heavenly Father, we thank You that when we received Jesus to be our Saviour and Lord, You blessed us in Him with so many blessings. We thank You that in Him we have been redeemed by His blood and our sins have been forgiven. We praise You that You poured out Your amazing grace on us as part of Your purpose in bringing a sense of unity in this divided world. We thank You that In Christ we are one with believers from all over the world. Enable us by Your Holy Spirit to humble ourselves before You so that You can exercise Your headship over Your church and over every individual in the church. We invite You to take up Your throne over our lives as we seek to live for You and to fulfil Your purpose for us in this world. Accept our grateful thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN!”

Ephesians 1:11-14.  No. 288. “Praising God For All We Have Now In Jesus And For Our Full Inheritance In Him.”

A Suggested Prayer

“Heavenly Father, we thank You that in Your plan and purpose for this world You enabled us to hear and respond to the gospel message of salvation.  We thank You that as You did so, You bestowed on us the Holy Spirit to seal our relationship with You so that we might inherit all the blessings You have given us in Jesus. Enable us, by Your Spirit, to become more and more a people of praise so that You may be glorified in and through our lives. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN.”

Ephesians 1:15-23.  No.289. Ephesians 1:15-23. “How God wants us to pray for ourselves and for His people throughout the world!”

A Suggested Prayer [Because this was a prayer by St Paul for the Ephesians I have changed the wording from “you” and “your” [meaning the Ephesians],  to “we”, “us” and “our” meaning ourselves. ]

“Dear Lord, we acknowledge that You are the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray that You would give us the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation to know You better. 18  Please enlighten our hearts and minds so that we can know the hope to which You have called us,  what are the riches of Your glorious inheritance in us as Your people, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of Your power toward us who believe, according to the working of Your great might 20  that You worked in Christ when You raised him from the dead and seated him at Your right hand in the heavenly places, 21  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 We thank You that You put all things under Jesus’ feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. AMEN!”

Blog No.292. Posted on www.jimholbeck.blog on Wednesday 12th September 2018

 

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