As we move towards planting a new church on Sunday nights for Wahroonga and the neighbouring communities, we do so mindful that we are dependant on God for all that is ahead of us. Given that, what should we be praying?
Our next series of blogs are designed to lay at the foundation of this new church a wholehearted commitment to pray and to pray according to God's will. The next 6 blogs will unpack Ephesians 3.14-21 and outline 6 aspects of being a church that prays God's will.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you
with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us,
21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
5 - Praying God's will means prayer that knows who is really at work in our church
Towards the end of this prayer, in verses 20-21 there are three more quick things that we are reminded of.
Do you see in verse 20 that we are reminded of who is really at work in this church?
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
Last summer I bought myself a new teach torch to wear fishing at night. The band of my old one was too tight and it gave me a headache. What’s more the globe was old and it was quite dim. So I got himself a new one with a nice big, soft band that felt lighter than a cloud, the halogen lights were as bright as day with several settings. So I headed off eager to try it out. Got to warf, backpack off. Head torch on – light as a cloud - Until I got there pressed click and realised I had forgotten to put batteries in it.
Without the power source, it doesn’t matter how fancy the torch is it is useless. And so are we unless God works in us.
We have been preparing for this church plant. We have been sending emails. We have had coffee meetings. We have met with potential partners. We have put together pretty fliers. We made a video and put it on Facebook.
We have begun to make plans for this church plant too: inviting our friends, thinking about how we can serve, praying that God would conform our will to his. But unless God works in us none of what we do will have any effect.
No Gospel Christian ministry is fuelled by human desire, or brute strength, by human pride, or good intentions, by human ambition or human skill. If we are to succeed – whatever that may look like – it will only be if God works in us.