#784. ADOPTION TO SONSHIP (3/4/23)
This week, we continue our nine-week series, 'Praying Together,' which delves into the power and significance of communal prayer. Inspired by the teachings of Mike Betts and his book and course, 'The Prayers of Many,' our series aims to strengthen our understanding and practice of praying together. In this week's devotionals, we draw from the analogy of a family to illustrate how our identity as children of God should foster a confident and beautiful unity in prayer.
‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.’ (Ephesians 1:3-6)
In summary: Effective and faithful prayer together flourishes in the understanding of our adoption as God’s children.
You can watch this devotional at:
‘Praise be to the God and Father...’ - Paul's words in Ephesians 1:3-6 demonstrate the importance of beginning our prayers with praise and thanksgiving. As we have learned in previous devotionals, this is the pattern that the Holy Spirit teaches us. If we want to follow this pattern in our personal and corporate prayers, we must first immerse ourselves in the Word of God and other sources of spiritual nourishment. By doing so, we will have a wealth of content from which to draw as we offer our praises to God together.
‘He chose us… before the creation of the world… for adoption.’ - Praying as a family - the theme of this week’s devotionals - is founded upon our being adopted by God into His family. He chose us for salvation and adoption before the creation of the world. Before we had done anything good or bad, we had been chosen to belong to God. If we are Christians, we have been blessed ‘in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ’ and a major aspect of this is adoption. Here are a couple of inspiring texts which speak of this crucial subject:
‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.’ (John 1:12-13)
‘You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.’ (Galatians 3:26-27)
‘For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.’ (Romans 8:15-16)
J. I. Packer writes of our adoption into God’s family:
In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship, and establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is a greater.’ (J. I. Packer. Knowing God. Page 233)
Effective and faithful prayer together requires that we understand that we are adopted as God’s children. To pray effectively, it is essential that we listen to the Holy Spirit's affirmation of our adoption and call out to God as our loving Father, crying out, "Abba Father." This knowledge of God's deep and abiding love for us should inspire us to approach him with confidence, knowing that he hears and answers our prayers.
Furthermore, as members of God’s family, we should pray not only for ourselves but also for and with one another. To do this effectively, we must recognise that we are part of a larger family and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with His love for the church.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
‘What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?’
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.
I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook
If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.
Please download the course handbook from: