HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 1:15-20)
Selected by God to build the foundation of the church, the apostles did so by bearing witness to the resurrected Christ, by their teaching, and by prayer.
The apostles were noted for prayer. When there was a need to provide for the widows in the early church, the apostles couldn’t do it because they had to devote themselves to “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). When the leaders of the church at Antioch were fasting and praying, the Holy Spirit told them to set apart Paul and Barnabas for the ministry God had called them to (Acts 13:1-3). This was the beginning of Paul’s missionary journeys.
In addition, in the majority of the apostle Paul’s epistles to churches, he starts off sharing how he has been praying for them (Romans 1:9-10, Philippians 1:4, Colossians 1:9, etc.). Praying for God’s church was an important component of laying the foundation.
Although the foundation of the church has been laid and the original apostles have passed away, we can still have an apostolic ministry, specifically in the area of prayer. God wants to use us to build his church through prayer.
As we consider Ephesians 1:15-20, we learn principles of apostolic prayer—prayer that builds up God’s church.
The hope of God’s calling includes righteous works on earth.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God saved us to serve him. To Jeremiah, he says, “‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’” (Jeremiah 1:5). God called him to be a prophet before he was born. Paul, similarly, was called to be an apostle (1 Corinthians 1:1).
Each one of us has a call to serve God and glorify him on earth. We are his workmanship. This means the trials and difficulties we encounter are not haphazard or pointless. They are like the work of a craftsman chipping away at a rock—creating a masterpiece that brings glory to himself.
We need to hear this, especially as the enemy constantly lies to us and tries to tell us we are purposeless and evolutionary accidents. No, God has a specific calling—with specific works—for each individual.