This evening we've reached chapter 3 in our evening series on Ephesians, a letter from Paul that I love, that excites me about church, and that I think is foundational in building a church that intends to fulfil its destiny in Christ.
At the end of the chapter Paul writes down his prayer for his reader/hearers, and it ends with these words,
"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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen!" (TNIV)
as a response to this, we spent some time writing prayers, spreading them out around the edge of the meeting space, and then walking around, pausing, praying, kneeling, standing, weeping and allowing faith to rise, that God might indeed want to answer our prayers, in ways that will bring glory and honour to his name.
I promised the folks there that I'd make a note here of the prayer requests, so that others who weren't with us can join us in prayer, and that we might be reminded for our own prayers.
The topics were:
To become more Christlike.
Complete healing for our daughter Elizabeth.
That all our church might become a loving, approachable family.
Strengthen me with power through your spirit in my inner being.
The Local Community - the homeless, the friendless, the old and the young.
To be rooted and established in love.
Bring back the prodigals to church.
To be more of a prisoner for Christ, and to know more of Christ.
May I know his glorious riches, and may I be strengthened.
For those who have "lost" their way.
Pray that Ruth and Joe will start going to a church in Leicester, and that Joe will come to know Jesus.
To strengthen my inner being to grow confident for God's purposes.
For the lost and the prodigals.
That the Father would strengthen me with power, through His Spirit, in my inner being, that Christ may dwell in my heart by faith.
That Jo will have courage to witness at work and that the Holy Spirit will inspire what to say.
For the children and families who will this year receive the shoeboxes.
The church building bridges.
That the whole fellowship will be so united in love for Jesus and each other that Whitmore Reans will notice the difference.
That Tues evening might exceed my expectations.
Strength for Brinford team to show the lads God's huge love for them by how we love them.
That whatever role we have in life, we can do it under the influence of Christ and with his power.
For marriages within the church.
Stregthen my inner being.
The manse situation.
That we may increasingly see Jesus bringing healing to people in the church, but also to those outside the church.
That our children and grandchildren will turn to the Lord.
Amen, and amen!