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R1479 God’s Promise For Praying For Others

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
March 18, 2022 8:00 am

R1479 God’s Promise For Praying For Others

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton about God's promise for praying for others. As we head to Ephesians chapter 3 for today's teaching for Dr. Don Wilton, know that we're connecting on our website as well 24 hours a day at www.tewonline.org.

That's www.tewonline.org. Now, Dr. Wilton. I want to speak about the promise of praying for others. And before we begin, we're going to be in Ephesians chapter 3. And I want you to pick on something here because I promise you this is shatterproof. This is something that no man can interfere with. This is something that God has given to us that we can all do. So I'm going to ask a very pointed question.

It's a rhetorical question. I'm asking that of each one of us today. Each one of us. Who is on your mind today that you know that you love, that you're praying for? Some of you have got sons and daughters that you're praying for right now.

We have one another. We're praying for our country, for our nation. We're praying for unity, for oneness, for the power of God's spirit and for his presence. What does God have to say to us?

Just bow your heads with me for a minute. Father, we pray for inmates incarcerated in prisons all across the United States. Lord, this week alone, I spoke to doctors and lawyers and engineers and teachers and brick masons and welders and bus drivers and postal workers and mothers and fathers and uncles and aunts.

People from every walk of life. And I pray for them. I want to know how to pray for people.

I want to understand the power of prayer. This incredible privilege that you've given to all of those of us who know you and call upon your name. Teach us from your word. This is our prayer that we pray together in Jesus' name. Amen. I'm going to read to you this passage.

And I want you to know that this passage that I'm reading to you is just jammed out. It is so deep. It is so wonderful.

It is so precious. And I don't even know really where to start when it comes to this issue of the promise that God has given to us related to this issue of praying for others. As we pray for each other, we pray for our church.

We pray for America. So I said I was going to begin in verse 12, but if you look at verse 11, this is according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord. If you'll allow me, I must just unpack this passage. God's eternal purpose. Everything that God has given to us is made possible in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. In whom, look at verse 12 of Ephesians chapter 3, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence because of our faith in him.

Oh, see, I don't know how I'm going to get through this. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through him. Are you despairing for someone that you love today? I know you are because we all do.

I know you are because we all do. Do you know that there is a broken heart on every pew? If you and I could just understand what the person next to us is going through that we don't necessarily know about, I'm telling you it's a precious thing to be part of the family of God. So here we have the eternal purpose of God the Father realized in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence because or through our faith in him. So Paul says, so I ask you, don't lose heart.

I love that. Now remember, Paul is speaking personally here to the church at Ephesus, to a whole group of believers that are immersed in every kind of circumstance. And he's turning the tables on himself and he says, listen, I know that you're all concerned about me and you're all praying for me.

And you know that I'm being hounded at every turn and I'm being beaten to a pulp and I'm being persecuted and harassed and all these things. I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. And then he turns the tables and he says, for this reason, I bow my knees before the Father.

And in a sense here, this is what Paul is doing. He's got such a profound understanding of the privilege of prayer, the promise of praying for others. He says, look, I know you're all praying for me and don't you worry about, you just keep on praying for me. But my suffering, you know, God's got it all and don't stop praying for me. And then all of a sudden in verse 14, he turns the table. He says, for this reason, I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory, he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his spirit in your inner being.

Wow. Oh, he doesn't stop right there. So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and the length and the height and the depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. And look at verse 20. He said, and so now to him who is able to do far more abundantly above all that we could ask or even think, according to him, the power that is in work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and forever. Amen. Somebody say, Amen.

Here it is right there. You know, that last verse, by the way, is that final salvo. It's that final great shot that comes from the very portals of heaven itself. So unto him, because of what he has done in Christ Jesus and to boot the fact that he enables us to tap into who he is and to call upon his name to do for us what only God can do.

No wonder he's the one that can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or even think. The promise of praying for others, you know, just coming out of the front door. There are four wonderful shatterproof promises of God right here. This is how he begins. He says, let me just put this on the table, puts these four things down, faith, access, freedom, or boldness, and confidence. It's all right there in verse 12 and verse 13. Number one, faith. What powerful teaching.

Forgive the interruption. We'll be back with the rest of God's promises for praying for others in just a moment. But Dr. Don wants me to remind you, we're here for you, praying together 24 hours a day at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673 or connecting online as well at www.tewonline.org.

That's www.tewonline.org where you'll discover great resources like this. Satan is seeking to devour your grandchildren. Evil runs rampant in the streets.

It's pouring out of social media and online streaming, seducing young people with false promises of worldly satisfaction. But the Word of God is stronger than anything that comes from the world. With your gift of support to the encouraging Word this month, you will receive Dr. Wilton's message, Standing in the Gap, along with the bonus book, prayers that avail much for grandparents. Use these Bible-based resources to guide younger generations to Jesus Christ, the only one who can save and satisfy. Now that's just one of many great resources on our website, www.tewonline.org. While you're there, be sure and sign up for the daily encouraging Word email from Dr. Don.

Again, that's all on our website, www.tewonline.org. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. That's the first wonderful promise of God concerning prayer. In other words, what he is saying here in this passage is because you have faith in God through Jesus, therefore, if you've ever wondered what right you have to seek God's face, the right afforded to you has been made possible because of the righteousness of Christ in you. If you've ever wondered what right you have to go to God, to ask him to do something for those that you love, the right that you have comes through the right afforded to you by the righteousness of Christ which is in you.

That's a powerful statement, folks. When you know Jesus Christ, Christ dwells in your heart and because he is the Son of God, through his sacrifice, you now are enabled by faith to come directly into the presence of God, our Heavenly Father. That's the first of the wonderful promises that he just lays down as a foundation.

The second is the word access. He says right there in this passage that we have access. That means that Christ, through his sacrifice, has given to us the means by which we can gain admission into the very presence of God himself.

You just think about that. Now can you imagine that God, our Heavenly Father, because of our faith in him through Christ, has given us access to him, every one of us. The third word is the word freedom or boldness that he uses there. He said in whom we have boldness, that little word there if you unpack it, boldness, that word literally means the freedom.

In other words, what God has given to us, this wonderful promise in prayer, is the freedom, the boldness to be able to come before him with everything and anything that is in our hearts. You know, we often, out of consideration for each other, we'll say, you know, I wonder whether I should tell my wife that or my husband that. You know, I don't know, you know, when we with our senior students on buses going to prisons, we have this little thing TMI, you know, too much information. You know, you've got to kind of like draw a line here.

I don't need to know that, nor do you, buddy. When it comes to our Heavenly Father, we're going to find out in unpacking this beautiful expression of the access that we have by faith that he's given to us freedom, the boldness to come to him. Tell him like it is. Just tell him like it is. Share it with him. Nothing's too much for our Heavenly Father. Now, which one today, who amongst us has got a crushed heart?

Take it to the Lord in prayer. You know, there's some people that are so deeply burdened, so hurt, so filled with pain. I love that word boldness and the freedom. It's the maneuverability that we have through the accessibility that we have because of our faith in him. And then the fourth wonderful promise of God is that word confidence. Look, he says in verse 12, in whom we have boldness and access and then with confidence, with confidence. You know, one of our wonderful people came up to me the other day and asked me a good question. They said to me, pastor, you know, you speak and you go to all these, do you ever get nervous?

That was the question. Well, of course I do. Of course I do.

We all do. We all experience, you know, nerves and, you know, crowds and the things that we have to do. God tells us that in the context of all of these things that we experience, whether it be nerves or we're afraid, we're suffering from anxiety. Maybe you've been beaten down so many times, you don't think you'll ever stand up again.

Here's one. Maybe you've been praying for your daughter or for your son for so many years, it's almost like I don't even know what to pray about anymore. That little word confidence is a beautiful word.

It's a rooted word because God not only hears our prayer but he answers our prayer. You and I can have confidence. The word confidence, the spiritual word confidence is not like arrogance.

It's not accompanied by a strut, so to speak. The confidence that we have is not in our ability. It's the confidence that we have in our accessibility and our freedom to be able to share everything with our Heavenly Father because of our faith in Christ, because of Christ in us. And by the way, no believers are excluded. I appreciate very much because we all have a part to play. I appreciate praying with people. That's one of the greatest privilege that we have. Never lose sight of the fact that you can pray too.

We can. We're all engaged in this. So what did this do? Faith, access, freedom and confidence. How did it translate into Paul's life? So here Paul, if we could perhaps consider it like this, Paul's talking here to the church at Ephesus.

So there's this body of believers, moms and dads and grandparents and old and young and people from every walk of life. And Paul says, for this reason I bow my knees. Now all of a sudden we see what faith and access and freedom or boldness and confidence does in terms of Paul's life related to the people for whom he is now praying. And it enabled him to pray for five things.

And I'm just giving them to you very quickly. Number one, for strength. You know, right there in verse 16 he says that according to the riches of his glory, he may grant you to be, see that word? Strengthened. Do you know what life does to us? It weakens us, the relentless pursuit of life. Sickness will do that to you. It's debilitating. You know, we've got some people that they go back, they're in hospital, they face it.

It's just like relentless. And this is deep here because he's talking about a spiritual strengthening. That's where it begins, for strength.

Secondly, for indwelling. Look at verse 17, that Christ may dwell in your hearts. And by the way, that little word dwell means to take up permanent perpetual residence. Move in. Move in. You know, can I just say this? As a church, you folks have given to me and Karen, I'm applying this, you've given to us such joy in our lives. One of the reasons is because you moved into our hearts. You moved in.

By the way, and I, you know, I just want to say this to anybody. If you don't have a church home, do it. Move in. Be all the way. Just do it, man. As long as you hover on the outside, as long as you sit on the border fence, you're neither here nor there.

Move in. And our faith in Christ is the very spiritual moment at which Christ moves in with us. And this prayer that Paul is offering here, not only for strength that he talks about, strengthened with power through his spirit. And look at the words that he used here, in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts.

And that is a present continuous tense. It's that he wants us to know, he's reinforcing that which already is. But he just wants to pray that you and I would actually know that.

You know, sometimes we can live where we are and be who we are, but not really take hold of the blessings that God has given to us. We can be believers. We know prayer. We believe in prayer. We actually pray, but the indwelling presence in our hearts of the Spirit of the living God is the very root by which the grounding of my faith is the spawning of the outpouring of God in every circumstance of my life. This is deep. Strength indwelling, number three, power, enabled Paul to pray for power, which is a recurring theme here in this entire epistle. But he talks about it right here in verse 18. Look, he said, in order that you may have power to comprehend with all the saints.

The power, that word, the power to comprehend means that Paul prays that they, that you, that we, that I would have the power to grasp, to take hold of. Many years ago, my three nieces were skiing and their father, my older brother, Rocky, was watching them. And I forget which one of the nieces it was, but one of them slipped on the ski lift and fell out of the ski lift and was left dangling. I'm being telling you now on a ski lift, holding on, and my brother was so helpless because he was way down there looking up and he could see his daughter holding on. And I remember this has been 20 odd years, 30 years ago, and I said to him, Rocky, how did you feel as a father looking up at your daughter way up there, dangling on a ski lift?

And had she fallen, almost certainly would have been killed. And it's like a helpless feeling. And all he could think about is, hold on, girl, hold on, hold on, don't let go, hold on.

And she managed to hold on until they came to where she could be rescued. That's what Paul's saying here. This issue of faith and access and freedom and confidence in prayer enabled Paul to pray for strength, for indwelling and for power, to comprehend power, to hold on with all the saints.

What? The breadth and the length and the height and the depth of all that God is. Hold on, hold on, don't let go, hold on. And God will give you the power. Paul said, I pray that you would be able to stand up, that you would be able to rise up and that you would be able to hold on to the faith that you have in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Number four, assurance. Look at verse 19, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. That word to know carries with it the idea of the assurance that I have in Christ. To know that I know. And it's like a marriage relationship.

The only one I keep thinking of is my own. You know, when I think back all those years ago, when I fell in love with her, yes, oh man, best thing since chewing gum. You know, and when you first are married and all, it's just wonderful and all the rest. But man, it's like I didn't really know.

I don't know how to describe that, but if you've been at it for a little while, you know what I'm talking about. What a prayer to pray. The assurance that you know, and then finally the fullness. It enabled Paul to pray for them for fullness. Look at that last part of verse 19.

I really want you to see that. I'm going to pray on my knees that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. That you may be filled with all the fullness of God. That's a beautiful prayer to pray for someone to be filled with the fullness of God. God is so vast and so mighty and so powerful. He's sovereign in all his ways. His love is so pure and so great.

These are recurring themes that come up. Can you imagine now, Paul here, this is what he's on his knees praying for people about. He didn't say don't pray for the sick because he certainly did. But there's so much more. Don't just stop there. Go deep for the fullness of the knowledge of Christ. That you may be filled with the fullness of God. And you know, then he transitions into that wonderful salutation that being, Now unto him, therefore based on this, unto him the one who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or even think. If you consider these things, the promise of praying for others, Involves and is inclusive of anticipating that God is going to do that which exceeds anything that you and I can comprehend.

If you're praying for it, just quadruple it because God is going to do it and a whole lot more. What powerful teaching from our pastor, Dr. Don Wilton today in Ephesians 3. Looking ahead to next week, there's more great Bible studies to come. But right now we're in this moment and it's our prayer every time we open God's word that none of us, Whether we've been walking with Christ for a long time or perhaps you're just experimenting, Discovering more about who Jesus Christ is. We do not want to leave this moment without being changed by the truth of the gospel.

I pray that as you've been listening to Dr. Don as he's been teaching and preaching, You'd open your heart to what he wants to share next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today I repent of my sin and by faith I receive you into my heart in Jesus name. My friend, I welcome you today into the family of God.

This is exciting news. If you just prayed along with Dr. Wilton to give your life to Christ or rededicate your life to Jesus, We're so excited and want to rejoice with you. Dr. Don would like to pray for you and put some resources in your hands. If you'll call us at 866-899-WORD, we'll send those out right away. Again, that's 866-899-9673. And Dr. Don loves to hear from you. His email is don.d-o-n at t-e-w online dot o-r-g. We'd love to pray for you to know how God's working through the ministry of the encouraging word. Again, that's don.d-o-n at t-e-w online dot o-r-g or call us anytime at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-967.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-21 00:36:45 / 2023-05-21 00:46:20 / 10

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