City Church Chicago Message Recap

Ephesians Series Part 6 – by Pastor Kent Munsey

“A Prayer for the Ephesians”

September 8, 2019

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:14–21 (NIV)

In this text Paul affirms prayer by practicing prayer. He prays for the church that he planted in Ephesus. When he prays, he prays to his Heavenly Father. 

Some of us have been deprived of having an earthly father. Maybe we have been taken advantage of, abused, neglected, harmed, or experienced pain from our fathers. But, there is a father in heaven who loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son. 

Our heavenly father loves us, and he removed the barriers of sin and death for us. We have access to God, the Father, no matter what our earthly father is or was like. He gave himself to reconcile with us.

Paul is praying for the church in Ephesus to be strengthened in their inner man. We have spiritual blessings in Heavenly places. Spiritual blessings are greater than material blessings. 

When we pray to our Father, we should pray to:

  1. Receive Spiritual Strength: There is spiritual strength available for us. We are spiritual beings, and we have access to spiritual strength in Christ in heavenly places. When we lose in life, we can pray to our heavenly father for spiritual strength to help us stand. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but with spiritual unseen forces (Ephesians 6:12). When you have done all you can from a human perspective, keep standing and pray for spiritual strength to stand and walk.

  2. Receive Jesus into our hearts as a full-time resident: Paul prays that Christ would live in our hearts. Most of us host Jesus like a house guest, not a resident. It changes the way we see everything when Jesus resides in us. 

Praying that Jesus would live in our hearts is not a prayer that we pray one time, but, it is a prayer that we should pray everyday. There is no need to exclude Jesus from our problems or dysfunction. He looks at our mess and loves us anyway. He wants to help us and lift us up. He’s not going anywhere. 

  1. Receive God’s love that grounds me: God’s love should be the root and foundation of everything we do and everything we are. Anything in our life that grows or is built has to be rooted in love. When we know God’s love, we look at everything in our life through the lens of his love. His love is what allows us to love others. 

Paul was writing this letter from prison. He knew what it was like to be in pain and in need. Paul demonstrates faith for what God can do through the power of prayer. 

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. When was the last time that you prayed to your Heavenly Father? 

  2. How do you feel that God loves you unconditionally? 

  3. Take a moment to pray for spiritual strength, for Christ to dwell in your heart, and to be rooted and grounded in love.   

  4. Is there anyone in your life who needs to know God’s love? How can you share it with them?