I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 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.
The first verse of this passage has special resonance for me as it was written in my Bible by a friend at University when I was leaving. So often we concentrate on the “conversion” of non-believers, or the criticism of those who are not following the way as well as they should, that sometimes we forget to praise those who are doing well. Paul criticises many for their lack of faith, or their failure of duty, or their selfishness, so here it is refreshing to read that he thanks God for the people of Ephesus who are faithful in their duties and asks for God’s wisdom for them. May we remember to encourage those who are faithful on their journey that we may build up our community of faith to support each other as we learn to follow Christ.
Father God, so often we bring our “shopping list” of needs we forget to thank you for all our gifts. So let us take time now to say thank you for all we receive from you….
Lord Jesus, so often we criticise others for how they are Not like you, so let us take time now to remind ourselves of all those who Are like you, who inspire us to be more like you ourselves…..
Holy Spirit, inspire us so that we can recognise the good in others, the faithfulness in others, and be so moved to be faithful ourselves….. Amen
The Rev’d Ruth Watson is the minister of Worsley Road and Patricroft URCs in Salford.