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Lent 2017 Devotional—March 26

Lent 2017 Devotional—March 26

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, 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. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his 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 he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:17-23

My seminary professor Howard Hendricks used to warn us about the subtlety of Satan saying, “He never messes around with the trivial, but goes straight for the crucial: our prayer life.” Hendricks said that Satan had no qualms about Bible study, as long as we were not praying. Nor does Satan quaver when we talk to people about Jesus, as long as we are not praying. Hendricks would have agreed with the old hymnodist William Cowper: “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon their knees.”

In today’s Scripture the apostle Paul prays for Christians to know “the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe.” Notice that Paul does not pray that God would give us power, but that we might know the power that is already in us. Paul explains that this power is the very power that raised Jesus from the dead, enthroned Him at God’s right hand, and made Him head over all things “for the church”.

Note: it is “for the church” that God made Christ head over all things. “There is given to the Church, and for the Church’s benefit, a Head who is also Head over all things. The Church has authority and power to overcome all opposition because her Leader and Head is Lord of all.” (Francis Foulkes, Ephesians)

God’s power works in us as we might pray in His powerful name. Peter Kreeft writes about this power:

I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives. (Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them?)

Do not be surprised that Satan attacks your praying. He trembles at the “immeasurable greatness” of God’s power at work in you.

PRAYER RETREAT

  • Take a few moments to pray the prayer of the apostle Paul—not that you would have more power—but that you might know the power of God that is already at work in you.
  • Reflect on Christ enthroned at God’s right hand above all “authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named…
  • Now pray in whatever way you sense the Holy Spirit leading you today.

“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.
Ephesians 3:20-21

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