Praying with Paul for the Church – Reflection for 2 JUN 2019
A few years ago, my prayer life felt a little stale. I decided that I would pray with Paul for a season. In his epistles, Paul gives the churches to whom he is writing a window into his prayer life and describes the way he is praying for them. I gathered these prayers into a single place and used these to pray for our parish and for the Church. I found that the challenges of the early church were not that different from today’s church. Paul’s prayers reinvigorated my prayers.
This week, representatives, lay and clergy, from the parishes in our diocese will gather in Toronto for our annual Synod. My hope and prayer is that this will be a time of fellowship, renewal, prayer, teaching, encouragement, and worship which draws our focus away from the challenges and trials of the world and towards the hope we share in Christ.
I can think of no better prayer for this week than the prayers that Paul offers for the church in Ephesus. I invite you to join me (and Paul) in prayer this week as our diocese gathers.
Heavenly Father, I give thanks for this parish, for our archdeaconry, and for our diocese as I remember them in my prayers. I pray that you, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation as we come to know you, so that, with the eyes of our heart enlightened, we may know what is the hope to which he has called us, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. Father, you put this power to work in Christ when you raised him from the dead and seated him at your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And you have put all things under his feet and have made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. For this reason I bow my knees before you, Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, you may grant that we may be strengthened in our inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, as we are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that we may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.