Prayer for Strength
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
Paul says “for this reason”. That is a key to us to see what reason he is talking about. In his letter to the Ephesians he has been teaching doctrine about who Christ is. He has talked about the gospel and how it is revealed, he has talked about grace, he has talked about unity in Christ and about faith and he has talked about spiritual blessings. When he says “for this reason”, what he is saying is because of all of this that I’ve already told you ~ I bow my knees. In other words I know Him so well now I can’t help but bow my knees before the Father. The more you know Him, the more you want to bow your knees to Him!
He goes on to say “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named”. This is a reference to the Jews and the Gentiles. This is another of Paul’s ways of pointing out that God is the God of the Jews AND the Gentiles, to whom Paul feels compelled to minister.
“That according to the riches of his glory” Paul is asking God to give according to the riches of his glory, which would be most generous! “He may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being” we get down to the bottom line, Paul is asking for strength for the Ephesians. Paul wants them to have the strength that is deep down in their hearts that can only come from Christ. And He wants this strength to remind them, to make known to them the breadth, length, height and depth of the love that Christ has for us. Breadth is also translated width in some versions. I saw this in commentary that I studied.
- God’s love is wide enough to include every person.
- God’s love is long enough to last through all eternity.
- God’s love is deep enough to reach the worst sinner.
- God’s love is high enough to take us to heaven.
That just about covers it all doesn’t it? You would think, but he goes on to say in his prayer that this love will surpass all knowledge and he is praying that they will “be filled with all the fullness of God.” Then we come to my favorite verse to round out this prayer.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Oh what a prayer!!! When we know Christ’s love to the width, depth, length and height that we can know it, when we are strengthened with strength that is deep down in our inner being and we put our faith in Him, He can and He will do more than you can even think to ask for! I’ve seen Him do it. I have been amazed at the answers I received at times because He loves to blow us away! And because of all that we give Him praise!
I also love that Paul isn’t just praying this prayer for himself, but he is praying this prayer for others. I want to pray it for you, for whoever is reading this, I pray that you will be strengthened with power through his Spirit, that you will be rooted and grounded in love and that you will know, really know the width, length, height and depth of his love and that He will blow your mind with more than you could possibly think to ask for!