Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 18 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #187)

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A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 3:7-13:

7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

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Henry Blackaby said, “All revival begins, and continues, in the prayer meeting. Some have also called prayer the ‘great fruit of revival.’ In times of revival, thousands may be found on their knees for hours, lifting up their heartfelt cries, with thanksgiving, to heaven.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The law of prayer is the law of harvest: sow sparingly in prayer, reap sparingly; sow bountifully in prayer, reap bountifully. The trouble is we are trying to get from our efforts what we never put into them.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Only a few years after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Herrnhut, the Moravian evangelist Peter Bohler preached the gospel in the colony of Georgia and then went on to plant the Moravian Church in England. At the time, England was desperately in need of revival. In the city of London, for example, one house in six held a ‘grogshop’ where a man could drink gin until he was drunk—and it would cost him only a penny. The rampant use of alcohol led to widespread crime in the street.”

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As Paul is writing from prison to the young, mostly Gentile church at Ephesus, it is not farfetched to see how his audience could become discouraged. Even though Paul had just explained the revelation of God’s great mystery that they were a part of, two thoughts were likely going through these young believers’ minds: First, they might have felt badly for Paul seeing that he had risked his life and his reputation to preach the Gospel to them and all Gentiles, yet he was the one sitting in prison. Second, some must have felt some apprehension about this idea of being a Christian if it meant that they, too, might end up in prison.

Paul addresses such feelings in verse 13 where he writes, “Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.” Paul is the one in prison, yet he is writing to others not to become weak or weary in heart on his behalf. Paul was not looking for sympathy or even compassion. He recognized his imprisonment as part of God’s plan. Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Zuck state in their commentary, “If the Ephesians truly understood ‘the administration of God’s grace that was given to’ Paul, they should not be discouraged because of his sufferings for them. His sufferings were for their gain and glory. If Paul had not dispensed to the Gentiles the stewardship of God’s grace, then Jews would not have been hostile to him and he would not have been imprisoned. His preaching brought salvation to the Gentiles, but it incurred the wrath of many Jews on him. However, many others became members of the church, Christ’s body, and this was their glory.”

Paul chose to have a good attitude throughout his imprisonment. Instead of focusing on his chains, he focused on what had caused him to be put in chains. If imprisonment was the reward for preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, he would gladly accept that reward every time.

In fact, Paul says that, for the Ephesian believers, his suffering is part and parcel of their glory. As members of the body of Christ, they are taking part in the great mystery that God was revealing to the world. There were forces — both spiritual and physical — that opposed this revelation. That is why Paul was persecuted. That is why early Gentile Christians experienced hatred from some Jews. But to be part of the glory of God was worth it all. As Paul told the Romans, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Let’s pray.

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Just pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. I will be sharing more on the matter of salvation in the next segment of our service which starts in about 5 minutes.

Revival Prayer List

PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES

Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

— Lucette in Abilene, Texas
for her friend Bikash and his atheist friend to be saved

— Linda in Fort Worth, TX
for total healing for Anthony
for her brother to be completely delivered from alcohol & grief over the murder of his only son
for her daughter to come back to You

— Teresa in Albany, GA
for her daughter and oldest son to recover from the death of their brother and to be healed
for Teresa to stay strong

— Lillian in Somerset
for Your blessings to be upon her Christian ebook that it would make more sales

— Linda and Wade in Ledyard, CT
for her prodigal husband to return to You and come home

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PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS

Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

Leaders of the Church of the Nazarene

Natanael Picavea
Stephen Sickel
Anne Sickel
Ulises Solis
Kelly Solis
David Webb
Shelley Webb
Scott Armstrong
Emily Armstrong
David Campos

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PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS

1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE CABINET MEMBERS

Matt Michels
Jason Dilges
Pat Costello
Jim Hagen
Mike Jaspers
Marcia Hultman
Kelly Hepler
Steve Pirner
Denny Kaemingk
Tim Reisch