Being united in heart is important. Being empowered by the Spirit of God can change everything.
Last week we saw how God views us as part of his family, and as His family we should strive to live in community as people of faith. Today we look at how we can live united in power. Our key scripture for this theme is..
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV)
Power through Prayer
Throughout scripture we are exhorted to pray, as prayer is communication with God, and God can change any situation.
As a Dutch Christian who worked with her father and other family members help many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during WWII, Corrie Ten Boom was a person who lived her faith even when it caused her to be put in prison. She shared that prayer needs to be more than based on feelings..
“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it.”
As Christians we should work diligently to be a people of prayer. Through prayer we are united with the heart of God and His purposes for us. Developing a prayer life takes practice. Prayer sets the mood for the day and encourages us to have a Godly perspective. As Paul writes to the church in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are to ‘pray continually’, keeping the dialogue with God open in all we do.
Jesus shared with the disciples that ‘Where three or more are gathered in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18:20. Unity is a key to the power of prayer.
Power through the Spirit
Jesus did not leave the disciples without the power to serve him. In the gospel of John 16:7-11 he shares..
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”
Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to be the advocate for us.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” – John 16:13
The Spirit of God speaks the truth to us, guiding and directing our path.
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – John 14:26
Power through Love
Back in our key verse Ephesians 3:17-19 we see the power of love highlighted…
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Love continues to be power for us to live a life after the way of Christ:
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
– Matthew 22:37-39
As we live out the power of Prayer, the power of the Spirit, and the power of Love we will see breakthrough in the unity of our community.
Ephesians 3:16 “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,”