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

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 21 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #190)

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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 3:14-16:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “The revived begin to get a concern for the members of their own family — husband, wife, father, mother, children, brother, sister — who do not know that they are outside God’s family. They tell them about the Gospel; they feel they must. There is a constraint that is driving them. They talk about it to people, to friends and to everybody, and they begin to pray for them.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “What good does it do to speak in tongues on Sunday if you have been using your tongue during the week to curse and gossip?”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “As the evening passed and the morning of the first day of the New Year began at an annual Moravian ‘Watch Night’ church service in 1738, the group began praying. As they continued praying together, ‘the power of God came mightily upon’ the group about three in the morning. Responses to this outpouring of the Holy Spirit were varied. Some fell to the ground, awestruck and overwhelmed with the very presence of God. Others were filled with ‘exceeding joy’ as they experienced the presence of God. All were caught by surprise, but when they recovered somewhat, they united their voices to sing a hymn: ‘We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.’ The Evangelical Revival, as it came to be called in England, had begun.”

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Now, we get into the meat of Paul’s prayer. He has praised God for the revelation of the mystery. And now he has moved on to the main request. It is a four-fold request for the Ephesian believers (and for believers today). The first request is contained in verse 16: “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.”

Paul had previously told the believers not to be discouraged by his own persecution and imprisonment. Now, he asks that God would grant them strength and power through the Holy Spirit. This strength and power is to be given “according to the riches of his glory.” God’s glorious riches are abundant and limitless. The fact that Paul asks for a request “according to” these riches is significant. He could have asked for strength and power to be given “out of” God’s riches.

Peter T. O’Brien states, “Paul draws attention not simply to the idea of God being a source, thereby signifying ‘out of’ the wealth of His glory, but also indicates that His giving corresponds to the inexhaustible riches of that glory. It is on a scale commensurate with His glory: He gives as lavishly as only He can. The One to whom Paul directed his requests gives richly and generously. By formulating his prayer along these lines, the apostle assured his readers that the Father was wholly able to meet their needs.”

A billionaire might give you ten million dollars; that means he is ten million dollars poorer than he was before. But when God gives of His spiritual riches, He does not suffer any loss. He gives and gives and gives, and yet His storehouse is never depleted. That is why the Ephesian believers could depend on God for the supply of strength and might that they would need for the difficulties they faced in the future.

Paul knew what he was talking about when he made this prayer request on their behalf. He had experience with the depthless strength of God. He had a thorn in the flesh that was always afflicting him, yet he continued on for the Lord. Once he was stoned, dragged out of the city, and left for dead, but he got up and continued on for the Lord. Why? He had God’s hand of limitless power strengthening his “inner man.”

Christians today need to realize that we don’t have to live defeated lives. We don’t have to give up and lay down our weapons whenever we are attacked by the devil, the flesh, and the world. We, too, can have strength in our “inner man” if we pray to God for might and power according to “his riches in glory.”

One poet wrote —

Help us, O Lord, when troubles come
To trust Your Word and not succumb,
And help us not to turn aside
But in Your strength and love abide.

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.”

— Magloire in Lome Togo Africa
for support she needs as well as for their prison chaplain

— Tonya in Los Angeles, CA
for her neighbor, Ricky, to stop harassing her, provide her affordable housing

— Betty in Houston, TX
give her hope after the death of her husband and her son;
help her to wait on You and trust in You, provide for her needs

— Brenda in Bardstown, KY
for healing of a drug addiction, for her 25-year-old daughter who is pregnant with her 6th baby, (4 which Brenda has custody of), for protection and guidance

— Rachel in Jerome, ID
for blessing and protection to be upon their church and ministry, as well as she and her husband as they strive to minister

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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

Danilo Aguilar
Emily Aguilar
Arnold Klaus
Martina Klaus
Heidi Bowes
Brad Firestone
Nancy Firestone
Martin Glendenning
Cezi Glendenning
Ashley Huber

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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.”

WISCONSIN STATE CABINET MEMBERS

Scott Neitzel
Ben Brancel
Eloise Anderson
Jon E. Litscher
Lon Roberts
Kitty Rhoades
Cathy Stepp
Richard G. Chandler
Dave Ross
Stephanie Klett