Dear Hope Family,
I have learned from many of you that this week has brought significant heartache and more-than-usual experiences of brokenness rearing its ugly head. So it is with heavier-than-expected hearts that we anticipate gathering for our weekly liturgy of song, prayer, the preaching of God’s word, and celebration of the sacraments, and we wonder what, if anything, such a repetitive and sometimes rote act can do to alleviate our real-time angst and the dull ache of loss, entrenched conflict, inexplicable, untimely death, and lingering, unanswered questions.
I humbly submit that Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church in 1:15-23 is utterly timely and applicable precisely because Paul is interceding on behalf of the saints in Ephesus while they face very similar circumstances and ask very similar questions. His overriding concern is that gap between their official theology and the details of their lives would be bridged by knowing God intimately and powerfully in the face of their hurt, anxiety, loss, and ordinary lives.
The exaltation of Jesus in triumphant sovereignty to the right hand of God showcases for us the incomparable power of the Resurrection, and Paul is praying that we would embrace this power that is at work within us so that we can enter into the strained and straining details of our lives with the true hope of the Gospel.
I invite you, in preparation for our gathered worship on Sunday, to spend some time praying through Paul’s prayer. Pray it for our church, our city, our world, and pray it for your own heart, too!
Grace and peace,