What can we do when our families seem to be fragmented, divided, splintering? Have you ever been there? Maybe you and your family are in a bad place today and you are torn up over it. The truth is, relationships are messy because they are made up of sinful people who can’t seem to help hurting each other. Is there hope? Is there anything you can do to fix your family?
Over the past few weeks at Watermark, we have been walking through the book of Ephesians. In it, the Apostle Paul is trying to keep a family of believers in and around Ephesus together as a church. He is helping Jewish and Gentile believers come together in Christ… to find their Identity in Him (Ephesians 1) and to build their lives and their church on Him as their chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2). Now, in Ephesians 3, He continues to implore them to find unity in Jesus Christ! The implication for us is clear; that if God can bring together Jews and Gentiles for Christ’s sake, He can bring together those you love most in Christ!
We need God’s help! And the great news for us is, in Christ, we can freely and confidently approach our heavenly Father! 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12. Have you considered how wonderful that is?! That you and I have the ear of the God of the universe? That He cares about us, our needs, our families and wants to bring us together in Christ?!
So when we approach God, how do we pray; what do we say? In Ephesian 3:14-21, Paul offers us an inspiring and inspired model to pray for our family, including our church family. As a dad, a son, a husband and a pastor, this is the way I want to pray! Paul says he “kneels before the Father”, which tells us he is praying passionately, reverently and submissively; so pray with that attitude and heart!
Pray for strength and power by His Spirit… (Ephesians 3:16). Ask for His power in your “inner being.” If you are living by your power, stop. Begin living with His strength today!
Pray that Christ would dwell in you and in the hearts of the ones you love. (Ephesians 3:17a). This is far deeper than “knowing about Christ”; it is about Christ living in our hearts!
Pray that God would help you and those your love grasp the depth of His love.
(Ephesians 3:17b-18). God’s love is boundless; it is limitless… and it is available and accessible to you! Be “rooted” in Him… draw the nutrients and strength you and your family needs from His love!
Pray that Christ will dominate in you and your family! (Ephesians 3:19). Pray those you love most will be dominated by God’s love and so committed to Christ that there is nothing left of self, only Him and His abiding love.
Pray that God would do more than you could ever imagine in your life! (Ephesians 3:20-21). You can’t even begin to imagine what God can do in your life! Surrender yourself completely to His leadership and watch what He does!
For far more, please listen to Equipped - Fixing My Family - Ephesians Part 3 - Praying Effectively.