Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | April 11, 2014

April 11, 2014 “Out On A Limb Prayer”

“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3: 14-19)
Good Morning Prayer Warriors!
   I am quite aware of the truth that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2nd Timothy 3:16), but I also admit that there are particular passages that really get a grip on my heart…passages like the rather lengthy one I shared this morning from Ephesians 3: 14-19. I didn’t want to leave anything “out” as I shared it, because it is so compelling in its truth. Paul is one of the boldest practitioners of the faith that we find in scripture. Even before his encounter with Christ on the Damascus road, Paul (known as Saul at that time) was unquestionably zealous in his persecution of this new sect of Jesus followers…full of fire and passion. It was Christ himself that redirected that passion within Paul and set him aflame with an irrepressible spirit that would take him and the proclamation of the Gospel throughout the known world. He was a passionate proclaimer of the truth, fearless and bold…stoned, imprisoned, whipped, shipwrecked, snake bitten. None of these seemed to slow down this spiritual dynamo in his mission to bring the Gospel message to the Gentiles and to their kings. Just as passionate was his prayer life. Read once again this declaration of prayer made by Paul on behalf of the new Christians of Ephesus:  “My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.” This is no “O God, please bless the Ephesians” prayer. This is full of passionate love and fervency. “Experience the breadth! Test the lengths! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! This is  “going out on a limb” praying! Author Rick Hamilton takes a cue from Paul as he writes, 
“Go out on a limb when you pray for others. Take a risk. Be outrageous. Be passionate. Take a leap. Love a lot, not just a little.”- 
Paul’s prayer is like that…bold…outrageous…passionate. It is reflective of a life fully lived in Christ. Do as Paul did. Do as Rick Hamilton encourages us to do. Love a lot, and let your prayer life demonstrate that love. Let’s pray!
Mighty God; We love because You first loved us. Your love for us holds nothing back. It covers us, sustains us, overwhelms us, encourages us, and emboldens us. May we, in the living of our lives, learn to love as you love, with conviction and fierce passion. This we pray in Jesus’ blessed Name. Amen

 

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