Praying with Paul
I was leading the morning worship service at our church last Sunday week. In preparation for the service I read through Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church and thought it would be a good basis for public prayer. So, making very few modifications apart from changing the pronouns, here is Paul’s prayer for the church in Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, UK.
We praise you God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. You have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms through our relationship with Jesus.
We praise you for the glorious grace you have poured out on us who belong to your beloved Son, Jesus. You are so rich in kindness and grace that you purchased our freedom with his blood and have forgiven our sins. You have showered your kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
You have given us your Holy Spirit, whom you promised long ago. He is your guarantee that you will give us the inheritance you promised, and that we are your own people because you have redeemed us. Through that Holy Spirit we want to praise and glorify you.
We thank you God for one another, and we pray for one another, asking you, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give each of us spiritual wisdom and insight so that we might grow in our knowledge of God. We pray that our hearts may be flooded with light so that we can understand the confident hope you have given to us whom you have called, the hope of a rich and glorious inheritance.
We also pray that we will understand better the incredible greatness of your power at work for us who follow you. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honour at your right hand in the heavenly realms. Now Jesus is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. You have put all things under the authority of Christ and you have made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And we, the church, are Christ’s body, made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
We acknowledge that it is by grace we have been saved, through faith–and this is not from ourselves, it is your gift to us–not achieved by what we have done, so that none of us can boast. For we are your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which you have prepared for us to do.
So Father help us to know you better, to love you better
and to serve you better,
For the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ,