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For This Reason I Kneel

"For this reason I kneel before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. 16 I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, 17 and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, 19 and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
Ephesians 3:14-21

It seems that today, in the midst of the pandemic, social issues, that everyone has a voice. And, more than ever, everyone wants their voice to be heard. While some are feeling empowered, others are feeling powerless. However, we must not forget is that we're not powerless. And our voices are  being heard, in heaven! Rather that raising our voices at one another, we need to lift our voices in prayer! Asking God to intervene, give us guidance for ways we can respond to these feelings, division, resentment,uncertainty, fear, and anger with the love of Christ. Feelings, that for the last several months, seem to have engulfed our great nation.

Desolation - Love NeverendingAs I was preparing for today's message, studying the Scriptures, specially the first three books of Ephesians, I began thinking about all of these great truths our Father has provided us with in this marvelous text. I was then reminded, of the many contrast between us, the church and the rest of the world. Here we are so rich; here we have an abundance, with many resources, incredible power, and great potential, to be loved of God, to be empowered by Him, to be indwelt by Him, to be able to possess what we indeed, possess. What a contrast to the destitution, the spiritual lack, earthly poverty, the desolation, the meaninglessness, the purposelessness of the life of people in the world we face.

And I guess, in these moments, as we're all gathered together, surrounded by the love of another, our Father, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit, it becomes abundantly clear, that we are indeed, called apart from the world. As they scattered about, attempting to make sense of the senseless, find meaning, in the meaningless, purpose in the purposelessness, struggling in the destitution of the present age, all in vain. Yet here we are, encompassed with richness and enveloped with the glory of God, fulfilling divine purpose. What a contrast to the world.

Today, in our text, in the book of Ephesians chapter 3, we read about the apostle Paul, who is praying for the Christians in Ephesus, praying for us, for all those down through the ages who come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father,

Today, we give You thanks, that Christ is in us. A wonderful truth, we know we don’t deserve that. However, we thank You and praise You, that it is true that He lives in us.  O' Lord, we desire that He be at home in us. Father, there may be some with us today, some whose families remain in the darkness of this fallen world. And they’ve never invited Jesus Christ, or they have rejected Him. He isn’t even there. May this be the very day, when their hearts would open and receive Him. O' Father, this we do pray.

However, for those of us who have accepted Him, in whom Christ already lives, we are so grateful, do thankful, and we pray that He would be at home in us. That He would find that we, Your church, Your children, are yielded to the Holy Spirit. Father, let us do only those things that please You: that our hearts and minds be filled with You, that our appetites are only for Your will and not for the world, that our fellowships are only surrounding the things of Christ, that our daily tasks are filled with endeavors and efforts to build Your kingdom, where their is no hate or evil.

Father, we know that Christ will lead us, to a life literally filled with love, and the way to love others. Remind us, how important the Great Commission is, and help us, as we struggle with the fact that some may never come to receive Him, though He desires to be at home in them.
In Jesus’ name,

Open with me your Bibles, to the book of Ephesians, chapter 3. Today, we'll be studying the rich and glorious text of verses 14 through 21. Ephesians 3:14-21. Follow along with as I read.

"For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." 

Occasionally, we find that our prayers seem to more urgency when we’re in the midst of life's many  difficulties, struggling to understand and overcome the problems that weigh heavily upon us. And, if that is true, then we ought to be a praying people, more earnestly beseeching God for His help in times such as these.

I recall some time ago, someone said, "I just don’t feel like praying." I said to him, "Then, why don’t you talk to God about that?" Beloved, that's what prayer is! Prayer is simply talking with God. So if you’re struggling with your prayer life, I want to assure you today, that God is still the same prayer hearing, a prayer answering immutable God, that He has always been, as is His Word.

You do not need to pray in any specific way, using any particular holy words, even repeating any religious phrases. You don't have to pray in any specific place. Because, anyplace, in which you spend time with the Lord is holy ground. You don't need to pray a long prayer. in fact, the Lord’s Prayer is rather short. You don't have to pray a glamorous, flowery prayer, just speak from your heart. The important thing is that you take time to pray. And, since we have been quarantined, we certainly living in a time, when prayer is desperately needed!

In the satirical play, "Love and Death" Napoleon walked by his lady's room and heard voices. Suspicious of her faithfulness to him, he questioned her about it.
"I was praying," she explained. "But I heard two voices," Napoleon said. She replied, "I do both parts."

The reason we pray is not because we believe in the power of prayer, but we pray because we believe in the power of God! We believe that He is the same, all-powerful God of the Bible, who has not put His power on hold.

Psalm 115:3 declares, "Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases." God does whatever He pleases, He does not require our vote, nor does He await our veto. In Daniel chapter 4, verse 35, even King Nebuchadnezzar knew that the God of Israel was all powerful, for he declared, "All the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing, and He does what He wants with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can hold back His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?"

So if we're going to talk about prayer, the first thing we need is to realize the awesomeness of God. Some have been taught that the only reason to pray is to change ourselves. However, that’s not the emphasis of the Bible. Instead, the Bible teaches that prayer can make a difference in what God does, and that prayer can also have an effect on our circumstances.

Prayer can effect our circumstances, and make a difference in what God does. Think about it, do you respond when your children make requests of you? Of course you do. And, our Father is no different!  God is the perfect parent, as well as the all powerful Creator. Scripture teaches that prayer can make a difference in what God does.

I'm sure most of you remember when God brought His people out of Egypt by those great, amazing miracles? Then after seeing the sea open up before them, they traveled on to Mt. Sinai. While Moses was up on the mountain talking with God, receiving the Ten Commandments, the people got impatient. They took off their jewelry, melted it down, poured the liquid gold into a mold shaped like a calf, and guess what they got? A golden calf!

They worshiped that calf, they sang hymns to it, brought offerings before it, and declared the calf was the god, who had brought them out of Egypt. In Exodus 32:9, we read, that God was not pleased!
"The Lord also said to Moses: “I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people. Now leave Me alone, so that My anger can burn against them and I can destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation." 

However, even though God told Moses to leave Him alone, Moses immediately began to beg God not to destroy His people. Deuteronomy 9:18-19 tells us that Moses kept pleading with God to spare the people. "Then I fell down like the first time in the presence of the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights; I did not eat bread or drink water because of all the sin you committed, doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight and provoking Him to anger. I was afraid of the fierce anger the Lord had directed against you, because He was about to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me on that occasion."

So what happened? Exodus 32:11-14 gives us the answer to that question; "But Moses interceded with the Lord his God: “Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He brought them out with an evil intent to kill them in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from Your great anger and relent concerning this disaster planned for Your people. Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel—You swore to them by Your very self and declared, ‘I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and will give your offspring all this land that I have promised, and they will inherit it forever.’” So the Lord relented concerning the disaster He said He would bring on His people."

Isn't it so wonderful that God hears our prayers, listens to our prayers, and that prayer can make a difference in what God does? God listened to Moses and God changed His mind.

Then there was King Hezekiah. God told Hezekiah through the prophet Isaiah to get his affairs in order because he was going to die. But Hezekiah prayed earnestly, before Isaiah got out of the palace courtyard, God told him to go back, tell Hezekiah, "I have heard your prayer & seen your tears; I will heal you...I will add 15 years to your life." II Kings 20:5-6

Some people say that God never changes His mind, but listen to what God says about that.
In Jeremiah 18:7-8, God says, "If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned."

So, while God will never change His goal, the redemption of mankind, He can and does change some particulars, in response to the prayers of His children. He has that right! And, we can see that He has demonstrated that many times in the Bible.

Not only can prayer affect God’s actions, prayer can also have an effect on our circumstances because we're talking to the One who has all power - yesterday, today, and forever. In Genesis 18:14, we read, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
When God was going to fill a valley full of water without any rain or wind, the prophet Elisha was told, "This is easy in the Lord’s sight. He will also hand Moab over to you." II Kings 3:18

An angel who came directly from heaven to Mary brought this message: "Nothing is impossible with God" Luke 1:37. Jesus, who knows God the Father better than anyone, said, "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

If God, angels, prophets, & Jesus proclaimed the awesome power of God, then we who are Christians ought to proclaim it, too. 

The disciples once asked one another concerning Jesus, "Who can this be? He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey Him!”" Luke 8:25

As human beings, we are the only part of creation that God has given the freedom to listen to His command and then choose whether to obey His command or not. That's the reason God could say to the Red Sea, "Open up," and the sea opened up.

When Jesus commanded the fig tree to dry up, it did not have a committee meeting with other fig trees to decide what to do and bring it to a vote! Any time God speaks to nature, nature has not the option whether to obey or not.

Do you remember when Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den? The lions were hungry, but God closed their mouths?

And when Jonah was thrown overboard? The Bible says that God provided a great fish to swallow him. That fish did not have the option to disobey. No, the fish obeyed! Jonah was in that fish for three days and three nights. I am convinced, being man, he tried every other way he could think of to get out, however, nothing worked. Jonah finally realized that he was trapped, he was in crisis, so he started to pray. And as soon as Jonah finished praying, "Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land." Jonah 2:10

My point is this, prayer does have power to affect circumstances. I have been asked many times, "So what about today? Does God really continue to hear our prayers, does He intervene in our lives?" I'm more than confident that He does. There are many believers, missionaries have observed and experienced God's intervention firsthand! Prayer works!

However, that does not mean God will always answer "Yes" to our prayers. I'm sure, like me, you have  experienced the "No" answers, as well. We all have. So, we must take great care, lest we start to believe that we can order God around with our prayers.

Though our God hears, listens carefully to our prayers, agonies, and heartaches. But, I must tell you, He will not tolerate us attempting to dictate to Him what He is to do. So how do we understand it when we pray for someone to be healed and that person dies? It surely does not mean that God loves some more or some less, or that God respects some and not others.

Psalms 103:11 says, "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him."

With that great love He also declares, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration, “For as heaven is higher than earth,so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9.

I believe we can trust in a God who is that big and has that much love for us.

However, when the answer does not come to us exactly in the way we want or anticipate it, our faith should hold hands with the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and  Abednego, those three men thrown into the furnace of fire, who declared, "If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up." Daniel 3:17-18

In Closing....

Beloved, our trust in the power of God is to continue, not because we always get our way, but because we believe in the ways of God! To pray is simply to tap into God's power. We know that those non-believers, those who are non-Christians, do not believe that God still has power today. However, I ask you this, if we Christians, those who know and are in Christ do not believe it, then who will believe?

Isn't it high time for us to catch up with our brothers in the early church and believe? Isn't it time teach about, and pray to the the same God we have all read about in Ephesians 3:20-21,which says, "Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen?"

If we can imagine great things. And God Who is able to do above and beyond ALL of them, isn't that great God? A God believing? A God worthy of our trust?

I Corinthians 6:19, tell us, "Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?

Does not Romans 8:9-11 teach us, "You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you?"

Does Acts 1:8, not tell us, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses

Beloved, that is the magnificent power of prayer! That is the astonishing power of God! It is tapping into Him who "is able to do above and beyond all that we can  ask or think.” What an amazing God we serve! What an incredible honor! What great privilege we've been given to be able to confabulate with Him, and have all confidence, that He hears and answers our prayers!

In this world when everyone is seeking to gain power, are you using the power that has been given unto you by Almighty God? In this present day, when everyone is concerned about their constitutional rights, personal rights are you, are you as a child of the One True God, every believer has been given the resource, has been given the Spirit, are you exercising your God given right to pray?
I pray that you are.

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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