POWER TO STAND
Loving Father, strengthen me with power through Your Spirit in my inner being (16).
Read Ephesians 3:14–21
A Prayer for the Ephesians
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] 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.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
a. Ephesians 3:15 The Greek for family (patria) is derived from the Greek for father (pater).
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the biggest challenge you have faced?
If you actually knew the ones setting your challenge, wouldn’t you turn to them for help? No wonder then that Paul starts praying.
Verses 14, 15. Paul prays, not for his own sake despite being a prisoner, but because he doesn’t want the Ephesians to be discouraged by his suffering (13)! Notice how Paul always returns to eternal truths to put his life and ministry into perspective (15).
Verses 16–19. What is Paul’s first prayer request (16, 17a)? It makes sense in an uncomprehending, hostile world to request power, but God’s purpose in granting it is not so that we impress the world or defeat God’s enemies, but simply so that ‘Christ may dwell’ in us. God grants this prayer that we may enjoy the riches of our unity with Him.
The key is God’s love (17b–19). Even though God has done amazing things for us, we still struggle to grasp the fact. Why do we need God’s power? Notice that Paul’s prayer is ‘with all the Lord’s holy people’ (18). An isolated person cannot show true love. These words are not about information learned but a relationship experienced (19).
Verses 20,21. How do these closing verses turn the themes of Ephesians 1–3 into praise?
Read Paul’s prayer again. Stop to pray the same things: for yourself, your church, and those around you.
I praise You, my God, for how great You are, how far beyond my understanding. May I seek to know You more.