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To God be the glory

29th September 2017

Ephesians 3v20-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

God can do immeasurably more than we can ask. So why should we be reluctant to pray big prayers? Why should we pray about the little stuff but not pray about the big stuff? For example, I pray regularly for revival to come to England. I don't accept for a moment that God is unable to answer that prayer. If I can ask it, God can do it. That's what this passage says.

And I will do what I can to get involved. As that great missionary to India William Carey once said, "Attempt great things for God. Expect great things from God." and as God told Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 32v27
"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?"

Also, in the previous verses, Paul prayed for us that we would know how much God loves us, so why should we be reluctant to pray about the things we really care about? Why would we pray for everybody else but not for ourselves?

And Paul says that God can do immeasurably more than all we... imagine.

We're so small, and our brains are so small, and our imaginations are so small, compared to God. We have no power compared to His, no wisdom compared to His, and no imagination compared to His. God has demonstrated His power, wisdom and imagination over and over again throughout history, including when He made the universe out of nothing. What power He showed then! What wisdom! What imagination!

And those of us who've walked with God for many years have seen our lives change in ways we would never have imagined. Many of us live where we never imagined we would, and work in roles we never imagined we'd have. We've seen things we never imagined existed, we've understood things we never thought we would, and our hearts - our attitudes, our priorities, what we care about and what we no longer care about, our ways of talking, and praying, and thinking, and behaving - are not what we would ever have imagined when we first believed in Christ.

And since we've already seen God do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, including in our own lives, why would we doubt that He will continue to do so?

God's power is at work within us - you and me! God is changing us from the inside out: our hearts, then our minds, then our words and our actions, then our lifestyles. And God is using you and me to change the world, including preparing our nation for revival. Every prayer we offer, every conversation we have with other Christians, and every conversation we have with those who are not yet Christians, every act of kindness, every repentance, every act of worship, every gift of time or money to the work of the Gospel, makes a difference, prepares our society to believe in God again and to seek Him.

And as we allow God to change us and, through us, to change first the church and then the nation, Paul's prayer will increasingly be fulfilled, "to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus".

Paul prays this will be "throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" Amen! As we submit to God in our thinking, in our emotions, in our speech and in our actions, it will be true in our generation.