“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…In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment–to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ…When [we] believed, [we] were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:3-14)
This prayer could be given several descriptions: faith, praise, thanksgiving. For me, it is a prayer of awe. It encompasses so many Christian principles. It unites heaven and earth. It makes plain that God’s redemption through Christ is for all people. It speaks of mystery, blood, adoption, and guarantee.
In one sweeping statement, Paul says a prayer for the ages. Through Christ, God has made all human beings one. All have redemption through Christ’s blood. We have forgiveness by the grace God has lavished on us. All things in heaven and on earth will be brought together under Christ Jesus. Or perhaps another way of saying this is that in a world where things don’t make much sense, we expectantly wait for the time when all things and all people will be unified under the headship of Christ.
There are other prayers in the New Testament, of course. Consider, for example, those in Luke 2:29-32; Acts 7:59-60; Luke 1:46-55; Luke 1:67-79; John 17:1-26; Acts 4:24-30; Romans 1:8-17; Romans 8:38-39; Romans 15:30-33; Ephesians 1:17-22; Ephesians 3;16-21; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1: 9-14; I Peter 1:3-5. And don’t forget the prayers Jesus prayed in Gethsemane and on the cross.
Let’s consider praying all of these prayers in private and in public.