August 18, 2019

Praying for Spiritual Strength

Bible Text: Ephesians 3:14–21 |

I think it’s realistic to say that our culture obsesses over the idea of being strong in one way or another. Having personal strength—whether physical, mental, or emotional—is pushed on us from seemingly every direction. Even from a young age, kids are taught to be strong and independent, to “dig deep” and “believe in yourself,” because according to the world around us, true strength comes from within, and whatever you face can be dealt with and handled if you rely on the strength within you.

While a strong body, mind, and character are certainly good things in our lives, they are temporary and can all come crashing down. Our bodies fail, our minds are often pushed to the max by the stresses of life, and trials and temptations can turn a person’s character. If we have our lives founded on these things, we can find ourselves lost and beaten down all too easily. We are engaged in a battle every day—a battle that cannot be won through some “inner strength,” a battle that cannot be won on our own.

In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he takes the time to stop and write out a prayer to the believers, one focused on seeking the Lord for true spiritual strength. Paul recognized his own and his audience’s need for a strength that was not of this world—strength founded upon the endless love of God and exemplified perfectly in his Son, Jesus Christ. The true strength that we all need.

As we continue in our From the Heart series, we’ll discuss that need for spiritual strength and specifically, as we see in Paul’s example, how we ought to be seeking after it in prayer. I’m praying that the Lord would use our time in his Word to centre us on who he is and challenge us not only in our thinking about true strength, but also in our passion for prayer and the necessity of it in our lives.

Sermon Notes

FROM THE HEART: Paul’s Prayers for Our Church
Praying for Spiritual Strength
Jordan Coros
Ephesians 3:14–21
August 18, 2019
“I will what I want”
“Find your greatness”
“It starts inside”
“Rule yourself”
“Just do it”
Romans 7:18
In the pursuit of spiritual strength, I should pray…
…with great humility, knowing who I’m talking to (v. 14-15)
Matthew 7:11
Matthew 26:39
…with eager anticipation, knowing where true strength comes from (v. 16)
For a millionaire to give fifty or a hundred dollars would be to give out of his wealth, but to give twenty-five thousand dollars would be to give according to his wealth. The greater a person’s wealth, the greater his gift must be to qualify for giving according to his wealth.
John MacArthur
Habakkuk 3:3b–4
…with the right motives, knowing what true strength empowers
• Deeper faith (v. 17a) - Galatians 2:20
• Greater love (v. 17b) - John 13:35
• Better understanding (v. 18)
• Growing righteousness (v. 19)
God’s supreme goal in bringing us to Himself is to make us like Himself, by filling us with Himself, with all that He is and has.
John MacArthur
…with the proper perspective, knowing who should get the glory (v. 20-21)
Praying for Spiritual Strength
Father, I long to be filled with true strength that comes from you:
• Would you help me recognize my weakness and humility before you and reveal to me what I am trying to do in my own strength?
• Would you grant me your strength to help me reach greater depths of faith, increase my capacity for love, grow my understanding of you, and continue my pursuit of righteousness?
• Would you create in me a greater passion for bringing you glory in all that I do?