Thursday, June 21, 2012

What I’m Praying – Part 2

I have really been convicted this week.  I wrote about it Tuesday.  The passages I am studying as a result each really deserve their own page.  I’m often guilty of listing a litany of scriptures at the end of a post without letting each word take its full meaning in my spirit and soul and root there and grow. 

Today is Ephesians, specifically Chapter 3.  I love Ephesians.  If you’ve not read Ephesians, regardless of your faith background, I encourage you to read it.  Ephesians is short.  You can go to Bible Gateway and start with Ephesians1, and then just click the forward arrow to read through all six chapters.  These are not like book chapters, they are super short and have a powerful message.  (And feel free to keep going, Philippians and Colossians are after Ephesians and those are awesome too – my kids Life Verses came from those wise words.)

There’s a verse that’s been my touchstone, at least since my pregnancy, but I also remember its meaning from times before then as well.  It's near the end of Ephesians 3, and I had always focused on the latter part of the passage:  “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.   I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” 

Now while that concept, a Saviour that can do more than we could ever even imagine for ourselves, is incredibly powerful, I understood so much more about Ephesians 3 this time around than what we GET.  First, I understood what earlier in the chapter Paul (the author) was talking about.  He was talking about being a teacher.  Being called to be a servant to reveal the mystery of Christ.  Specifically, he said, “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.  Although I am less than the least of God’s people, this grace was given to me.”  Boy, I heard that.  I feel that to the extent that God, in His grace, is giving me a message or ministry, He is doing it even though I am less than the least of those Christians around me.  And it is from that place, the place of ministry, the place of a called teacher, that he says, “FOR THIS REASON I KNEEL BEFORE THE FATHER.”  That calling, that God vocation, pulled him to his knees.  To pray this really spectacular prayer.  One of my absolute favorites.  One that resonates in my soul every single time I read. 

What does he pray?  First, he opens by recognizing the POWER of our Heavenly Father.  Next, he prays for that power to strengthen us.  You and me.  Believers.  Then he prays that that strength would just sink in and take hold in our hearts and spirits.  And once it has really taken hold, once that strength is established DEEP down, that it would turn into knowledge that allows us to even conceive of the inconceivable love of Christ.  Then he prays that our knowledge of that overwhelming love would FILL US up to overflowing with God.  Don’t you just get a visual picture of that fullness with his words?  Finally, he brings that prayer full circle back to our Father’s power, to acknowledge that He can do SO MUCH MORE than we can imagine, conceive, dream, envision………
Rest with that today.  Sing of that today.  Pray with that today.  Read over that today.  Take the time to appreciate today Christ’s power, strength, love and fullness.  If only a little of that would take hold, then we could all leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Unbelievable.  

1 comment:

  1. you are a real encouragement to me! I read the Eph passage over and over, thank you for your awesome blog! May God continue to bless your beautiful family!