Prayer for the Faint (Ephesians #16)

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Text: Ephesians 3:13-18

Paul’s purpose in praying is stated in 3:13, I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you.  There are four things Paul prays for the Ephesians in order to keep them from fainting at his tribulations.  It’s like the four legs of a chair or table.  These four legs will keep the saints from fainting.  Paul’s concern was that his own tribulations would cause some of the Ephesian church to quit serving the Lord.  This is one of the most practical concerns for Christians who serve the Lord.

You and I don’t get to pick when the trouble comes.  When people rely on you, you don’t get to pick when they need your help.  A mother with children in diapers doesn’t have the option of packing up and leaving the baby to feed itself.

Prayer for spiritual strength

  • that he would grant you…to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
    • Physical work requires physical strength and spiritual work requires spiritual strength.
      • If you’re not nourished properly you’ll faint.
      • If you get hungry, you get cranky.  If you aren’t nourished spiritually, your spirit will sour, you’ll burnout, and you’ll quit.  2 Corinthians 4:16 ….but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
      • Elijah was ready to give up.
      • Moses was ready to give up.
      • Even the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Examples of spiritual strength
      • Joy – Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  And again, for the joy of the LORD is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
      • Nourishment – John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
      • Colossians 1:10-11 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
      • 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Prayer for your heart to be a hospitable home for Christ

  • That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith
  • You buy a new home or get an apartment and move your stuff in, arranging it in such a way so you feel comfortable living there.  You don’t put your bed in the kitchen or your pots and pans in the bathroom.  You arrange it so it feels like home.
  • The thing that makes Jesus Christ comfortable is faith.  Faith invites him into the home of your heart and faith is what keeps him there.
  • The heart can be filled with other things.
    • Lusts of other things creeping in

Prayer for understanding of where we are

  • That ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend…
    • So what are these dimensions to?  It’s not God’s love.
    • Comprehend dimensions of the entire household and creation of God.  That way you and I understand our place in all of this.
  • 3:15 …in heaven and earth…
  • All have the Father’s name in the family of God.
    • Faithful people before the law.
    • Faithful Jews under the law up to John the Baptist.
    • Faithful Gentiles under the law up to John the Baptist.
    • The body of Christ, Jews first, then Gentiles (Acts 2 – Rapture)
    • Tribulation Jews
    • Tribulation Gentiles
    • Millennial saints
  • 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known…
  • 1:3 …spiritual blessing in heavenly places
  • 1:10…which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
  • 1:20 …in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.
  • 2:6 …made us sit together in heavenly places
  • Two things are necessary for walking in the right direction.  First of all, I need to know where I’m going.  Second, I need to know where I am.
    • It’s important to understand your spiritual and physical place.
    • The consequences of not knowing are confusion and disorientation.

Prayer for charity

  • And to know the love of Christ
  • 2 Peter 1:5-9 – Charity is the Christian’s graduation.  It’s not a once in a lifetime thing meaning once you’re charitable, you’ll always be charitable.
  • Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
  • Galatians 5:6, 13 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. … 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
  • Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Now remember these four things are what Paul prayed for the Ephesians in order to keep them from fainting at the sign of trouble.