Introduction: The same power that God demonstrated in the resurrection and ascension of Christ is at work for us, today – which should shape and fuel our prayers.
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
What an incredible prayer Paul prays for the Ephesians… that the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened so that they may know God’s incomparably great power towards us who believe.
God has put his power at our disposal.
Christ had been slain by the darkness of the world… It was the power of God that raised him from the dead, breathing life into his crucified body.
It’s unimaginable power. We can’t grasp it, or even properly comprehend it. It is too great and wonderful for us.
But when Jesus exerted his power to calm a stormy sea, to heal a bleeding woman, to feed 5000 people… these are incredible demonstrations of God’s power – but even these don’t compare to the power exerted by God to raise Christ from death and seat him at his right hand in heaven, with all enemies at his feet… conquering sin and every spiritual power of darkness. This was the greatest and most stunning demonstration of the infinite power of our God that the world has ever seen. This is where we most clearly see how powerful and limitless the power of our God is.
And this is where we see that this same power is working for us.
Do you really know that God’s power is at work in you and through you and for you, today?
I find a helpful diagnostic question is to ask how we pray. Last year the Holy Spirit started convicting me and leading me on a journey to pray more expectant prayers. I’ve come to see that my prayers are often too small, and a bit beige. But our God is a God of immense power and love. He calls us to pray, and works graciously through his people’s prayers as a key way he works in the world.
What about you? Do you pray with conviction and expectancy in your heart? Do you really expect God to powerfully answer your prayers to:
- Work in that family member who seems so recalcitrant to the gospel?
- Bear significant Spirit-borne fruit in your life: to grow in holiness or contentment, or killing that sin you have long struggled with?
- Equip you to serve or encourage the faith of others in deep or new ways?
- Give you the words and opportunity to share the gospel with someone you know?
- Grow those in your church / growth group / ministry team / family to maturity in Christ in profound ways?
God won’t always give us what we ask for, or in the ways we think. He is far wiser than us, and he knows both our destination and the route to get there. His power at work in and for us sometimes (often!) looks like his loving discipline and correction – even as our desires and requests are shaped more and more in accordance with his purpose and will.
But this shouldn’t make us afraid of asking. We can be so confident in God’s power and ability, and that his power works for us in love. He can do more than all we ask or imagine. I long to see and “harness” more of that same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him on high, which now works for me – so that my good and powerful Father in heaven might multiply the reasons I have to praise him in joy and wonder, and multiply the glory he receives from the chorus of voices who have received abundantly from his hand and who delight in the glory of his face.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, your power is unparalleled; there is none like you. Thank you for Jesus, and that your power that worked in him is at work in and for me. Open the eyes of my heart to see this, and teach me to pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A song to listen to:
Living Church Springfield