The recent Pew study on faith indicated that 20%, that is 1 in 5 people surveyed, indicated no affiliation with an organized religion. Twelve years ago that figure was at 8%. If that kind of trajectory continues, we will look like Europe from a faith perspective in our next generation.
So what is the deepest prayer on my heart and mind right now? What is it that I desire most to see in every person within my sphere of influence or area of accountability? Long ago, I did an extensive study of the book of Ephesians and it continues to be a well of hope and guidance for me. There are three key focuses of prayer I have for every person I know, including myself.
First, that we may know Him better.
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Not just know about Him but know HIM. Do I care to know Him better? Do I make any effort to know Him better? There were some guys I had met before but really did not know them. I was able to spend some time with them this week. I now feel I know them better. How? We sat and talked, I heard their story, asked them questions and prayed with them. I don't know them fully but I know them better because I took the time to be with them and listen to them. Same with God.
Second, that we may know the hope to which He called us.
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you
We have hope in Jesus. I grew up in a home with an insecure mother who found fault with most everything I did. She was acting out of hurts she suffered long ago. I was constantly looking for ways to have people accept me because I felt unacceptable. And then I found the truth of this hope. I found in Ephesians 1:5-6 that God, who knew and knows everything about me, chose to adopt me according to His pleasure and will, through the grace He poured out through the One He loved, Jesus Christ. In other words, I am fully accepted through the One He loves. No striving. No questions. Fully accepted. That is the hope He called us to. And it is available to everyone like me who felt hopeless.
Third, that we experience power in the church.
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Our inheritance in the church is the same power God poured out when He raised Jesus from the dead. He did it all for the church. And now He does the same today by taking dead people and making them alive. That is us. That power is what makes us holy and blameless in His sight. (v. 4) And it is that kind of holy living that demonstrates the power of God in our midst today.
We can't change the whole world, but we can seek to bring change in our world. Think about this. If we each experienced the three things above, how would our lives change? How would our homes change if everyone in them experienced knowing God better, having hope and being touched with the power of God? How would your work or school environment change if you carried "Christ in you, the hope of glory" with you wherever you went?
Would you join me in prayer today for this to take place?