Carry on…in Prayer
A Prayer for the Love of Christ
Pray that Christ’s Love Would Dwell in Your Heart
Prayer grows on us as we grow in prayer.
Paul prays for believers to grow into the fullness of spiritual maturity. He prays for an inner strength, a deeper faith, an abundant love, and the fullness of God in each believer’s life.
After Paul prays for an inner strength and a deeper faith, he then prays for an abundant love, the king that is rooted deep within our hearts. Such love is the hallmark of every believer. And all these things – an inner strength, a deeper faith, and an abundant love – will lead to a full maturity in Christ.
God’s mercy and grace are all the more magnified in light of His unimaginable power.
Read Ephesians and Reflect on Chapter 3:14-21
Paul picks up the thought that he began in 3:1, in this section. He prays that the Ephesian believers would be strengthened in their inner person. He prays that Christ will dwell in their hearts, and that they will be strong enough to grasp Christ’s immense love. The three members of the Godhead Paul mentions in this section are: God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
In his prayer that Christ would dwell in the hearts of the Ephesians believers (3:17), Paul uses the Greek word katoikeo, which refers to settling down or permanently residing somewhere.
Paul wants the Ephesian believers to understand just how wide, long, high, and deep Christ’s love is (3:18). Yet if the love of Christ “surpasses knowledge” (3:19), how can we know it? The Greek work for “knowledge” (gnosis) often refers to knowledge gained through experience.
Paul says, in verse 20, “Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think…” or all the passages in Ephesians, this one is probably quoted the most. The New International Version translation says “more than all we ask or imagine.” God must be pretty amazing because I can dream up some pretty crazy stuff! But where did my imagination come from? It came from Him. He gives us our imagination. And He can do immensely more than anything we can ask or think or imagine.
Ephesians 3:30-21 are really the hinge between the first three chapters and the final three chapters. Before we move on to the more practical applications (in chapters 4-6) of the truths Paul has just taught (in chapters 1-3), Paul wants to remind his listeners that God’s mercy and grace are all the more magnified in light of His infinite power. And all glory is due Him
The same power that raised Christ from the dead now lives in us. We must never forget that, which is why Paul repeats the same idea in 1:19 and 3:16.
What attributes does Paul ascribe to each member of the Godhead?
What does it mean to have Christ residing in you?
In what ways have you experienced to love of Christ? How do these experiences help you understand Christ’s love?
Paul concludes his prayer with a benediction that gives glory to God (3:20-21). How does he describe God in these verses?
In what ways do Paul’s words reassure you that God is able not only to do more that you ask, but also to do more than you can comprehend? Allow this assurance to influence your prayer life.
Who is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or thing or imagine?
Where is God’s power at work?
Write it out – When writing out Ephesians 3:14-21, consider each room in the house of your heart and invite Jesus to take up residence in every area of your life. Thank God for the blessing of our imagination and praise Him that He is infinitely greater and more powerful than anything we can ask or think or imagine.
Prayer: Thank You, God, for reminding me that You are greater than anything I could ever imagine on my own. With my finite mind, I know I can never fully grasp Your infinite power. Help me to grow in my trust in You. You are greater. Infinitely greater. And all glory is Yours. Amen.
May God give you the Spirit of wisdom & revelation so that you may know Him better. Have an awesome day in the Lord!! Ephesians 1:17
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Denise J. Hughes, “Word Writes: Ephesians”