Paul is writing this letter to the Ephesian Church while imprisoned in Rome. We come to the concluding verses of Chapter 3.
Why does God allow this? From the very beginning of the Church of Jesus Christ there have been those imprisoned for their faith in Jesus and for their courageous and bold ministries.
Following Pentecost, Peter and john were imprisoned in Jerusalem simply as the result of healing a cripple who had been crippled for 40 years – but doing so in the name of Jesus.
Around the world today so many believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, have been arrested and imprisoned for their faith in Christ – and they have never done anything wrong. They have not broken any laws – except if a law has been made to forbid the worship of God through Jesus Christ.
Disciples of Jesus Christ are normally so concerned to do the best for the community in which they live. Why do governments not see that?
Is that because they are blind – and so cannot see the light and love and concern and compassion that is in these lives?
You can limit a man's preaching by putting him in prison - but you cannot stop him praying. That must have encouraged many of these disciples in Ephesus - and must have given them confidence.
Many think this letter was not really limited to Ephesus but was a ‘circular’ letter which would be circulated around the different fellowships of believers at that time – like the seven letters which the risen and ascended Jesus sent . We have these in Revelation Chapters 2,3.
What have we been reading of here in this amazing document - Freedom - Liberty - Encouragement - Confidence.
Paul does not want these believers in Jesus to be discouraged because of his being in prison for his faith - although his suffering is real - it always is. Somehow all of this is for your glory.
He finishes this section as he begins - by referring to his suffering - and this suffering is because of the work he had been doing in the Kingdom of God.
The will of God will never place you where the Grace of God cannot keep you.
In verse 14, he speaks about prayer and praying.
I can no longer preach widely - I am in prison in Rome - but I can pray and I do pray - and I pray for you that you may carry on preaching.
"I kneel" - what would the soldiers guarding him think when he did that - especially on these occasions when he was chained to two soldiers? Seldom would he be alone. What did they hear him pray?
Our body language - to use a modern phrase - can help others - and influence others.
What does he pray for when he brings these Ephesian disciples before God the Father?
He prays that they may be strengthened inwardly - that your inner being may know the power of the Holy Spirit in some greater way.
What is the inner being - the inner man? Is it not the conscience - the will - the mind - the heart? That is where he wants us to be strong - a clear conscience - a strong will able to resist temptation - a convinced mind which cannot be corrupted - and a loving heart.
If we are strong in these areas - inwardly - we will be more able to cope with whatever physical weaknesses or challenges or pressures come across our path.
One lesson from this passage is - do not let physical weaknesses or limitations cause you to fall away, crash, or crumble.
Then Paul prays that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
May Jesus be at home in your heart.
Pray – whatever is going on around you when this article comes out – pray.
Pray – whatever is going on in the world – pray.
Pray for those persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.
Pray for yourself – ask God to with you to keep and guide and guard and strengthen you – Prayer – wherever you are – pray.
“Lord God Almighty – I come in prayer – this is not just an intellectual assent – but a vigorous affirmation of my faith. Thank You, Father, that I may come into the ‘Holy of Holies’ in prayer, through Jesus Christ – and because of what Jesus did for me at Calvary. I give thanks. I worship. I pray in Jesus name. Amen”
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