My friend Stephanie is a woman of prayer. She believes in the power of prayer to effect change in her life and lives of her family and friends. She recently was the chairwoman of our Pastoral Search Team and brought prayer into this process continually. Through prayer we were all more closely engaged in the search for a new pastor and linked to each member of the body of believers at our church. It does not surprise me that her favorite portion of scripture is a prayer from Ephesians 3:14-19. The Apostle Paul here is praying for the believers at Ephesus.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Paul knew these things to be true in his own life and ministry and desired that his fellow believers experience the same. Here is what Paul knew:
*God is accessible and he could come before him in prayer (14)
*Believers are all in the family of God under the name of Jesus (15)
*God provides inner strength through His Holy Spirit (16)
*God has vast resources at His command (16)
*Christ lives in our hearts through our faith in Jesus (17)
*God makes us firm in our faith through His abiding love (17)
*We can individually and collectively grasp a portion of how great God is (18)
*We can know through faith God’s unapparelled love, which is more than knowledge
*As believers, we can be filled to overflowing with God’s love, presence and spirit. (19)
Paul knew each of these truths personally. How many do you know? Do you pray for these for other believers you know and experience? The army slogan “Be all that you can be” could be applied here. God wants us to be all and experience all that He has for us. I challenge you to choose one or two of these and pray them for a believing friend so that they may experience God more fully and grow in their faith.
Thanks Stephanie for pointing us to this wonderfully rich passage that puts a priority on prayer and shows us how we are to pray for others while deepening our own experience of faith.