Lesson 4 – Intro – Jan. 31 – Feb. 7 – PRAYING WITH EXPECTATION

One of the delightful things about young children is their enthusiasm and joy when they realize that something special is about to happen.  It might be Christmas or the first day of kindergarten, but it could also be something that would be quite ordinary to most adults, like going out for an ice cream cone or even taking cookies to a neighbor.  As they eagerly, and sometimes impatiently, wait for the time to come, their anticipation and joy increases.  Their eyes are bright and their smiles are big as their excitement builds. They have little reason to doubt and many reasons to believe that their hopes will be realized.

When you read the letter that Paul wrote to the “faithful followers of Jesus” in Ephesus, he seems to have that great gift of child-like anticipation on their behalf.  He reminds them of all the blessings that they already have experienced through Christ and explains to them that there is so much more to come.  He seems convinced that God will give them spiritual wisdom and insight.   He knows that God, who is so rich in mercy, will enable them to “do the good things that He has planned for them”.  He tells them exactly how he is praying for them.  His clear expectation of all that God would do for them must have lifted their spirits and given them a great sense of confident expectation for the future.

Perhaps this joyful anticipation is one of the characteristics that Jesus is referring to when he recommends that we come to Him as children.  As John Piper has said, “God’s lavish invitations to ask Him for good things, with the promise that He will give them, are unimaginably wonderful”.  You and I can have the same experience that the Ephesians had – by FAITH.

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