Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Prayer for Strength and Love

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power 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, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.—Ephesians 3:14-21

In this prayer, Paul tells the Ephesians to ask God to strengthen them by His Spirit. This is not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength. This strength is so Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. He asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells, there he dwells. 

Paul further asks God that with both feet planted firmly on love will be able to take in with all Christians the many glorious dimensions of Christ's love. Paul tells the Ephesians to reach out and experience the breadth of God’s love, to test the length God’s love. He tells them to measure the depths and to rise to the heights of God’s love. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory.

He wants us to live full lives, full in the fullness of God.  Paul tells us that God can do anything. He can do far more than we could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams. He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Those who receive grace for grace from Christ's fulness, may be said to be filled with the fulness of God.

In this prayer, Paul gives us the path to happiness. He wants us to realize how much God is there for us. we can turn to him when we are weak, and he will give us strength. He gives us the strength to do all things in his name. He wants us to understand how much God loves us. The truth is there is no way to measure God’s love. It is infinite and everlasting. If we live our lives in the fullness of God, then we will be able to accomplish anything. God is with us, and if we let Him, He will fill us with his love and strength.

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