“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.” Ephesians 3:14, 18-19a
John Stott wrote, “One of the best ways to discover a Christians’ chief anxieties and ambitions is to study the content of his prayers and the intensity with which he prays them. Prayer expresses desire.” The above prayer from Paul takes place at a crucial transition in his letter to the Ephesians. In the first three chapters he has been discussing some pretty dense doctrine, and he will spend the rest of the letter teaching us how to apply that doctrine to our lives. So before he gets into the application, he prays the believers in Ephesus would comprehend the overwhelming love of Christ.
Notice Paul doesn’t pray for any part of their physical well being, rather he focuses only on their spiritual well being. Does this mean our physical prayer requests aren’t important or spiritual enough for God? Of course not! All it means is when we zoom out, our main prayer request should always be that we would be strengthened by our faith, knowledge and trust in God’s love because that is the only thing that is going to give us perspective, patience and a strength that sustains.
If God heals us, we will get sick again. If He provides financially, we will struggle again. If he helps us get over a sin, we will sin again. This is true because we live in failing bodies. But when we pray for a greater understanding of Him we are taking the focus off of ourselves that continue to fail and putting it on Him who will never fail. When we look at ourselves we get anxious about the future because our resources are depleting, but when we look to Him we are encouraged because His resources are more than what we even have a word for.
Join us Sunday morning as we open Ephesians 3:14-21 and observe “The Prayer Request” Paul has for all believers. God bless you all and hope to see you there!