from Revealed in Ephesians~ The Mystery of Who I Am in Christ Week 6 Day 1
“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.” — Ephesians 3:12-13
Do you pray with FREEDOM and CONFIDENCE or do you just shoot up prayers hoping God hears you? You need to be confident that God hears you. Let’s cross reference the word “prayer” to find what James the brother of Jesus teaches about praying with confidence.
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you ill? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
What lies from the devil do you believe that keep you from praying fervently and with confidence? Ask the Holy Spirit if there are any lies in the way, blocking your prayer life and your ability to embrace everything God has for you and everything you are in him, as a redeemed daughter of God. YOU have an anointing in Christ through his Spirit! You have Christ! Let’s just say, these words need SHOUTING FROM THE ROOFTOP! We have a reason to be confident in Christ! When things look very discouraging, we still have freedom and confidence and a reason to go before our Father with faith. Go back to the beginning of this day of study and read the Ephesians 3 prayer again, with spiritual eyes, asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart and understanding.
Ladies, basically, if you think you know Christ’s love, you “ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” There is so much more to find, so much more to know. And through the Holy Spirit, we can know what mortal humankind cannot know in their own minds.
Ladies, basically, if you think you know Christ’s love, you “ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” There is so much more to find, so much more to know. And through the Holy Spirit, we can know what mortal humankind cannot know in their own minds.Tweet
You are not alone. We are together. We can come to a place of knowing and being filled to the measure of all the fullness of God, as a family. I think this is probably a place most people are afraid of going. Prayer is intimacy. Prayer with others is even more intimacy! Sadly, many of you may carry an underlying fear of intimacy with other people and even with God. Intimacy involves closeness, where you cannot hide the vulnerable places of your heart. But—imagine this—the intimacy you have in prayer is with the God who knows each star by name, but still cares about your day. Your tears are written on his scroll. He was with you through every secret and ugly moment of your life and he still loves you. He is our good Father and we are part of a good family. Do not fear the intimacy that comes with this unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness you have in Christ and in his family. Embrace it!
When you trust in Christ, you are placing no confidence in your flesh or in your own self. You may feel incapable of doing what God has called you to do. You may feel weak or afraid, or even financially limited. These hinderances will not stop the work of God when you pray. Why? Because your confidence is not in yourself. It is in Jesus. Jesus is glorified in our weaknesses. Let’s cross reference weakness and see what God has to say about our weaknesses. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Our trust is in the Lord’s strength and power working mightily in us. Today, as I knelt in prayer by my window, looking out at the beauty of creation, I felt so small for what God has called me to do. When I focused on my smallness, I started to doubt his desire to work in or through me. Then, he reminded me of this truth: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all weask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
God can do more than I even think. He is not limited by the things that limit me. He wants me to ask for more blessings, more healing, more freedom, more unity, and more open doors. Simply because my faith is so small, I can’t even begin to imagine what he wants to do for me. It is his power, not my power that is at work in me. And for this, I need to ask for more faith, and you do too! In Mark 9:14-29, we see the account of a desperate father who comes to Jesus for his son who is demonically possessed. He can barely ask a very small and desperate, “Help me, if you can.” Here is a small excerpt:
“God can do more than I even think. He is not limited by the things that limit me. He wants me to ask for more blessings, more healing, more freedom, more unity, and more open doors. Simply because my faith is so small, I can’t even begin to imagine what he wants to do for me. It is his power, not my power that is at work in me. ” Briana Nei Revealed in Ephesians the Mystery of Who I Am in Christ.Tweet
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?’
‘From childhood,’ he answered. 22 ‘It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’
23 ‘If you can”?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’
How many of us pray, “If you can” prayers, or “If you want to” prayers? More often than not, Jesus wants to and he always is able. I have a theory that we pray small prayers so we aren’t disappointed, because we aren’t quite sure if God wants to work in our situation or if he will. So, when I feel small and faithless, I pray for more faith! Some examples of this unsure praying would sound something like this, “Dear God, I am afraid. If you see fit, please take away this fear. If you want to and you think it’s a good thing, take away my anxiety. If not, help me to live with it.” Let me ask you a question. Do your kids have to ask you if they can sleep in their beds at night? Of course not. Because that is part of the package deal for belonging to a family. You get the security of sleeping in a bed. What kind of a parent, who has the money and resources for a bed, would not let their child sleep in a bed? A really bad parent.
There are certain benefits to being God’s child. Peace is one of them! When you want to know what your employee benefits are, where do you turn? You go to the benefits manual on the company website. Employers will also hold employee benefits seminars or meetings, to make sure you understand your insurance, retirement and other benefits. I think churches should have benefits classes for new believers. How many people walk through their Christian lives not knowing what amazing benefits are at their disposal? We need basic skills to know how to access the benefits for every child of God. This is why you are doing a Bible study! The Bible is your Christian Benefits Manual. There are many unclaimed believer benefits in the pages of your Bible.
We have freedom and confidence to ask for peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Peace has to do with security and with love. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (NKJV) So, why would we doubt whether or not our good Father wants to deliver us from fear and give us peace? God wants his children to be bright-faced and eager to see him work. Instead of giving up on difficult situations, be confident in God’s desire to work and intervene, above what you can ask or imagine, in the middle of your need!
BRINGING IT HOME
Get on your knees. Kneel before the Father and pour out your heart. Thank him and go BOLDLY into his throne room asking to understand his love. Also, ask him for those things that have been difficult to ask for—those things you have struggled to believe you could overcome. Go in and ask and receive in faith.
Do you have any unconfessed sin in your life that may be causing sickness or lack of confidence? Only the Holy Spirit can reveal this. Take time to pray and ask God for continued revelation into issues you may be dealing with. If there is sin in your life, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
Teach your children to pray with confidence!