From Unfolding Grace:
“The arrival of God’s kingdom through Jesus is the center around which everything in the New Testament turns. The gospel accounts show the kingdom’s arrival through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. In Acts, God’s people spread the good news of King Jesus, make disciples, and plant churches. Letters such as Ephesians encourage believers to know Christ and live all of life in light of His gracious reign.
The most prominent letter writer in the New Testament is the apostle Paul. He is a pastoral missionary, visiting and writing to local churches in order to encourage them in their faith. Ephesians is compact, yet comprehensive. It is doctrinal and practical, accessible and deep. It shows us how the gospel is for all of life.”
Wednesday, September 29th
Larger Portion of Scripture - Ephesians 1-3
Focused Passage for Reflection - Ephesians 3:14-21
Reflecting on the Text:
Do you ever struggle knowing how to pray? Do you ever struggle to know what to pray? All of us do from time to time…maybe even all the time. So have you ever considered praying the prayers in Scripture? We probably all think of the Lord’s prayer when we consider that question. It’s certainly an appropriate place to start, but there are also other prayers in Scripture. Ephesians 3:14-21 is one that we would do well to pray.
In this passage, Paul is praying for the Ephesian church, but he is also praying for all believers. And by virtue of this praying being found in Scripture, he is also modeling prayer for us. In this prayer, he prays for something surprising: power and strength. Now maybe those aren’t all that surprising to you, but maybe the purpose behind that power and strength is. Follow along with Paul’s prayer. Here he prays that we would be:
Strengthened with power
so that Christ may dwell in us richly. (It is a prayer that we would experience union with Christ.)
so that (with Jesus dwelling in our hearts) we might have:
The STRENGTH to COMPREHEND His immeasurable love (v. 18)
An INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE of His exceedingly great love (v. 19)
that…we may be filled with the fullness of God.
Our God is able to do this, AND SO MUCH MORE! (v. 20)
Do you see what Paul is praying here? He is essentially saying: If you want to be more like God, then know how much He loves you! And He loves you with an immeasurable love! Be filled with power and strength so you can grasp His love!
How powerful is that?!? The next time you are struggling with knowing how or what to pray, start by looking to Scripture and praying the prayers you find there. Ephesians 3:14-21 is a great place to start. It is a prayer to pray for yourself, and it is a prayer to pray for your loved ones. In fact, why don’t you start right now?
Questions for personal reflection:
How great must God’s love be that we need strength and power to comprehend it?
How do you think “knowing the love of Christ” will help you to be filled with the fullness of God (being more like Him)?