What you pray about is what you consider to be important. It reveals your values and priorities. A focus on your own problems in prayer reveals that your problems are more important than anything else. A focus on other people reveals that you have begun to put others above yourself. How much you pray reveals the importance you put on your relationship with God. Paul prays for the Ephesians, teaching us what is important as we pray for others.
This is part three of six of Dr. Bush’s exposition of Ephesians. Part one was in introduction to the book. Part two looked at God’s plan for salvation that existed before the foundation of the world. This message is taught from Ephesians 1:15-23. In these verses, Paul lists several things that the Holy Spirit has led him to place importance on when praying for others:
1) Giving thanks to God. Gratitude is taught throughout scripture, both Old Testament and New Testament.
2) A spirit of wisdom and revelation to know God better, recognizing a deeper meaning behind the facts and recognizing the truth as taught by the Apostles
3) That the eyes of their heart be enlightened. We need both intellectual understanding and an intuitive, emotional agreement that comes from the entire person.
4) That they would know the hope to which they’ve been called to in Jesus Christ, the riches of His glorious inheritance, and His incomparably, immeasurably great power which is present with us now.
Paul also emphasizes here that Christ is the head over everything. Without the head, the entire body dies even if it is otherwise in perfect health. The church can only exist when it has Jesus Christ for its head.
Does Christ really control our church and our actions? Are we directed by Christ or by our own desires and our own understanding?
This is part 3 of a 6 part series Dr. Bush taught on Ephesians in January of 1980 at the First Baptist Church of Ballinger, Texas. It was part of a larger series that he called Theologoumenon, in which he went to churches and taught anyone who would come. Part 1 was an introduction and the first two verses, Part 2 was Ephesians 1:3-14, The next episode, Part 4, will cover Ephesians chapter 2, Part 5 will cover chapter 3, and the last in this series on Ephesians will lead us through chapters 4 though 6.