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Sermon #4080

Praying to the Father

A Sermon on Ephesians 3:14-15


Ephesians 3:14-15 ESV KJV
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Ephesians 3:14–15 titled “Praying to the Father,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones stresses the importance of prayer and its practice from Paul’s example. Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses prayer in three important principles from this passage. First, it is important that the apostle Paul is praying for the Ephesians. Even in the midst of his imprisonment he is praying. Prayer is a vital necessity for every believer in every circumstance. Second, Dr. Lloyd-Jones looks at the manner in which Paul is praying. He is praying with reverence. Though he has just mentioned earlier in the chapter that one can come to God in prayer with boldness, he shows here a heart of humility in how he approaches God in prayer. The Christian should be careful to evaluate how they come to God in prayer. It is not necessarily about the outward posture, but does the inward posture show humility in spirit before the Holy God when He is approached in prayer? Lastly, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out the importance for Paul’s description of God here in the passage. He speaks of Him as being the Father of all. Jews and Gentiles alike are now fellow heirs, children of God, bearing the name of God and addressing Him as their Father.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul prays for the Ephesians even though he is imprisoned. He cannot visit them but he can still pray for them. We should pray for others even when we cannot actively help them.
  2. Prayer is as necessary as instruction. We need to pray that God's word is understood and applied. Knowledge and prayer must go together.
  3. Paul prays for the Ephesians so that what he has taught them will become real to them. The greatest teaching is useless without the Holy Spirit.
  4. We should pray for others as much as we instruct them. Prayer is more important than instruction alone.
  5. Paul bows his knees in prayer. Our posture in prayer matters as it shows our attitude. Extremes of formalism or casualness should be avoided. The posture should represent a reverent heart.
  6. Paul comes face to face with God in prayer. We have boldness to approach God but with reverence and godly fear.
  7. God is described as the Father of the whole family in heaven and earth. The family refers to the redeemed, not all creation. We belong to God's family.
  8. We have access to God through Christ. We are fellow citizens and members of God's household.
  9. There is one family of God, in heaven and on earth. We are all God's children regardless of our earthly distinctions.
  10. We represent God's name as his children. We should live lives worthy of that name.

The Book of Ephesians

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.