TODAY’S READING: Ephesians 3:14-16
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.” EPH 3:14-15 (NIV)
Finally, Paul resumes the sentence he began in verse one! The NLT version puts it like this, “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray”.
What is “all this”? It’s all the amazing things that we have seen in this letter so far - the grace, forgiveness, mighty power and love of Jesus and now, the mystery of God’s plan for His church! No wonder he falls to his knees to pray. Much of Ephesians is based on prayer and, in this second half of chapter three, Paul starts once again to intercede for the Ephesian believers.
Who does he pray to? “The Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name”. (v14-15). Again, Paul reminds us that whether part of a Jewish family or a Gentile family, believers in Christ all share one Father. Paul is not praying to some distant deity, but as a son, he is coming before his Father and reminds us that we, too, are the children of this good, good Father.
What does he pray? Paul goes on to pray that the believers in Ephesus would receive:
- Inner strength (v16)
- Christ’s presence (v17)
- Understanding of Christ’s love (v17-19)
- Completeness in Him (v19)
Paul prays that God will provide for these believers, “out of His glorious riches”. Remember, we have seen that these riches are limitless so there will be a constant supply!! But he doesn’t pray for their physical needs. When he thinks of “all this” – the wonder and mystery of Christ – his prayer is that we would know, understand and experience more of Him. More important than asking God to change our circumstances, is asking Him to strengthen us to face them. More important than asking God to make our lives easier, is asking Him to be with us. More important than asking God for ‘things’, is praying that we find our completeness in Him! Corrie Ten Boom, who spent time in a Nazi prison camp for hiding Jews during the Second World War, wrote these words:
‘If you look at the world, you will be distressed.
If you look within, you’ll be depressed.
If you look to Him, you’ll be at rest.’
• Read Ephesians 3:14-16
• Pray for each other to be filled with His strength, His presence, His love and to know completeness in Him.
• Maybe God is laying someone specific on your heart today. Why not let them know that you are praying for them and send them an encouragement from God’s word?