Sermon: Excel Still More – Prayer

Excelling Still More:  Prayer for One Another
Ephesians 1:15-19
January 30, 2022

I am going to go out on a limb and make a generalization that I believe applies to all people.  No one is satisfied with his prayer life.  None of us will say, “I pray enough; I am content that God always gets my best in prayer.”  I’m pretty sure those general statements can be universally applied.

There are multiple reasons why we don’t pray enough —

  • apathy and laziness
  • busy-ness and distractions
  • lack of discipline and habit (we just never got started…)
  • sin

But it may also be that we don’t pray because we don’t know what to pray.  We know we should pray — we just don’t know where to start.  The whole practice just seems to be pretty overwhelming.

One of our goals for this year is to stimulate one another to excel still more in loving and caring for one another.  We do care for each other, but as long as God has us on this earth, we can continue to grow in that care (1 Thess. 4:9-10).  I submit to you that one of the ways we care for one another is through faithful prayer with and for each other.  When we have individual trials and troubles, we often cannot change the circumstances for each other and we cannot endure the pain for each other.  But we can be with each other and we can pray for one another. 

When we don’t know what to pray for one another, we can be instructed by turning to various prayers in Scripture for a pattern, which is what we are doing as we turn to Paul’s opening prayer in Ephesians — a model for how to help us know what to pray for others.  We know we need to pray.  This is what we should be praying about, Paul says —

Excel still more in loving the church body by praying for the church body.

Paul will give us some background to the practice of prayer and then remind us to pray (at least) four requests when we pray for one another.

  1. The Reason for Paul’s Prayer — Sovereignty (v. 15)
  2. The Context of Paul’s Prayer — Gratitude (v. 16)
  3. The Content of Paul’s Prayer — Perception (vv. 17-19)
  • Pray that they might grow in knowledge and fellowship of God
  • Pray that they might grow in knowledge of salvation’s hope
  • Pray that they might grow in knowledge of salvation’s riches
  • Pray that they might grow in knowledge of salvation’s power

Download the rest of this sermon on Ephesians 1:15-19

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.

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