This past weekend I was able to be a part of what is, so far, the most amazing of my Christian experiences other than personally becoming a Christ-follower. You see, I am a church planter. I now pastor a church I planted five years ago that has as its primary DNA to help start new churches. We have been able to see multiple new churches start around Wyoming in recent years. We have apprenticed new church planters. We have coached and mentored. We have financially supported. But now, we have sent! This past Sunday, we commissioned a new church planter that has been in our apprenticeship training since January. With him, we sent over 20 of our church’s covenant members to go with him to a suburb that has only 1% of its population a part of a faith community. It is and was an amazing feeling.
Prayer – Power, Position, Perception, Plenty
Preparing to send this group out with my very heart, I wanted to pray over them and ask God to do great things through them. Wrestling with what words would be adequate I landed in Ephesians Chapter 3 where Paul is praying a HUGE prayer for those Christ-followers:
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. 16 I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit,17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love,19 and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.20 Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us –21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
First, Paul prays a prayer for the Power of God (v. 16) to be evident in the life of the believer and that this power would be granted from the very power of the Holy Spirit that resides in the follower of Jesus. No thing we attempt for God can be accomplished appropriately apart from this power. Rather than getting in too deep and asking God to rescue us via His power, what if we bow to our knees and seek to be strengthened by Him before we go…to the mission field…to the meeting…to whatever big thing is next?
Next, Paul prays a prayer for the Christ-follower to find their right Position in Christ (v. 17). If we position ourselves upon the solid rock of Christ who is the Cornerstone, then we will be rooted and firmly established to pursue every good work filled with the power of God and the love of Jesus. That positioning requires more than mental ascent but a true humbling of ourselves as we trust more and more in Christ who dwells in our very hearts through faith. Could some re-positioning be needed in your spiritual order of things?
Third, Paul stretches us to take the big view of God which will likely change our Perception of God, of ourselves and of our circumstances (v. 18-19). He uses the words comprehend and know as he intercedes for us and our often ’too-small-view’ of the mighty God we serve. God is both un-fathomable in that He is bigger than we can comprehend but also completely knowable in that He has given us The Christ to be able to see Him and all His character through the Savior. A right perception of God in both of these ways will keep us grounded in assurance and security as well as full of the mystery of God.
Lastly, Paul turns His power to the vertical when he asks God to do more…to provide Plenty (v. 20-21). In the translation I memorized this verse, it asks God to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or think. Paul prays for the plentiful blessings of God to fall and flow on the life of those committed to Him. More than we even know how to ask…and I feel like I can ask big! More than we can reason! God has all the resources to accomplish all His will. He can do plenty!
As you pray to God and for others, ask for God’s power, position yourself appropriately, grow in perception of the One whom we serve, and watch Him pour out plenty to meet every need.