The Church 5

Eph 1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.

Ephesians 3:10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Eph 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

The Church has the privilege of prayer because it is united to Christ, is the body of Christ, and Christ dwells in His people. The Church must never forget the Head of the Church when it comes to prayer, but instead it is the Head that gives them the Spirit of prayer and indeed is the Mediator of their prayers as well. Christ loves the Church and He nourishes His Church and cherishes it. Prayer can only be motivated and moved by love for God, which can only come to the soul when it is communicated to the soul by the Spirit of Christ. The Church should seek the living God through Christ for more and more of Himself and His presence that is in Christ.

We can see something about how people should pray for each other by the true nature of the Church. The essence of the Church is Christ and the love of the Church is for Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ dwells in each soul and He is the best thing for each soul. As members of the body should seek the Head for the true good of other members of the body, so they should pray that others would have Christ. It appears that praying for the physical problems of the congregation is about the only thing that people pray for, but it should be noted that there is at best only one instance in the epistles of that. Jesus healed people in the Gospels, but we don’t see prayer for those who had ailments as such. We do see the example of Paul in several cases where he prayed for the spiritual welfare of the people. It is also an old adage that when people are physically ill they are in a spiritual struggle. Therefore, when we see people that are ill we should pray for their spiritual strengthening.

Those who are united to Christ and love God and His glory know that the purpose for anything and all things is the glory of God. God saves souls to the praise of the glory of His grace. God established the Church that to Him would be all the glory. The Church is on earth “so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph 3:10). This is a profound truth that we have to have taught to our hearts by Christ. The Church is on display so that the glory of God would be made known to beings in the heavenly places. In the context, this was what flowed out of the reason for Paul preaching the Gospel. All of this is in accordance with His eternal pleasure.

It should be clear that in light of God’s purposes and the essence of the Church that prayer must be different. Our first priority in prayer is the glory of God, but we must know that the Church is on display in order that God and His glory would be manifested to beings we know little to nothing about. Our obligation and privilege is to seek the Lord and to pray for His people to know Him and to grow up in Him. Prayer is part of how we equip the saints for service so that the body of Christ would be built up. The people of God need more and more of Christ in order that they would be established in Christ and that they would be strengthened to stand against the wiles of the devil. In our hearts we should seek for grace that we may pray for the body of Christ (believers) that they may have more of Christ. After all, He is true food and true drink for the soul of all who truly love Him.

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