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 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.
Understanding And Applying the Text
Paul is praying for two things for the Ephesians. First, he is praying that God strengthens them with the Spirit to their core. He prayed to God to strengthen them so that Christ may dwell in their hearts. Second, he prays they are able to understand the greatness of Christ’s love. So they may be completely filled with God. Paul realized that the most remarkable thing was God. As a result, the most remarkable thing the Ephesians could have was a knowledge of the power and love of God. The most important thing is that God fills them with Himself. Not to know about God but to know God
God’s power is more than we can even imagine. Yet that power is at work in us. God’s love is more than we can understand. Even so, Paul’s prayer is that God gives Ephesians the knowledge of Christ’s love.
How different is Paul’s prayer then the prayers we pray? Our typical prayers are all about us and temporal things. “God please heal grandma. And please help me get a good grade on my test tomorrow. Help me pay my bills. Help me find my keys.” That last one I am particularly guilty of. And of course, we end our prayers with the magic words, “In Jesus’ name. Amen.” We treat God like a magic genii.
Paul’s prayer is for the Ephesians but it is about God. Paul’s prayer is for God to strengthen the Ephesians and they know Christ’s love. Why? So that God can be praised. Paul’s prayer is about God to God. He prays that God will receive glory in the Church and in Christ. Doing well on a test, or getting the quarterly report finished and filed on time does not bring glory to God. It brings glory to you and me.
So how do we fix it? What changes do we make in our lives? Well, we change our priorities. We recognize that God needs to be the most important thing in our life. We just need to …. That is the message of most sermons. You just need to change. You just need to get your priorities right. If you really loved God you would not do certain things or you would do certain things. You would ask yourself what would Jesus do? And do that.
The fact is you cannot do what Jesus did. Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. Jesus paid the price for your sins. Can you do any of those things? No! You cannot do anything close to any of those things. Paul prayed that God strengthens the Ephesians through God’s Spirit. It is only through the power of God that we live a life that brings glory to Him.
We always try to steal God’s glory. We claim we have accomplished something. We did it. Or we stood firm in the face of temptation. We did it. But the fact of the matter is we did nothing! It was the spirit that gave us strength. That is why Paul prayed that God strengthens the Ephesians with the Spirit. It was to bring glory to Him through His church of which every believer is a part forever and ever. Pray you bring glory to God.