In praying to “Our Father in heaven” we have confidence in God’s sympathy (as His children), superiority (in power) and spirit (his loving generosity).
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Observations and reflections
- What is Paul’s POSTURE in praying this prayer to the Ephesian church? (v14) Why do you think it mattered to Paul?
- Note TO WHOM does Paul this prayer. (v14-15) What do we learn about how we relate to God the Father | Christ Jesus His Son | and the Holy Spirit’s from this prayer?
- Note the CONFIDENCE in this prayer. Try find one descriptive word for Paul’s confidence in verse 16a and the reason for his confidence in verse 20?
- WHAT does Paul pray for the Ephesian church in verses 16-19? Again try single descriptive words.
Personal reflection and Prayer
The Ephesian church suffered from internal factions and external persecution. Yet Paul confidently kneeled to the Father in heaven and prayed for strength through faith, knowing that the God the Father loves His children, is generous and kind, and can do far more than we can imagine.
- Write down all your external pressures and internal, emotional struggles.
- Now slowly pray this prayer for yourself today: (Can you kneel down?)
- Thank God the Father that you are HIS CHILD – you find your identity, destiny and security in him – he is responsible for you.
- Tell God you pray CONFIDENTLY to him because of His supreme GENEROSITY and ABILITY. (stay here for a while)
- Pray for STRENGTH to endure. (be specific)
- Pray for FAITH to trust him for provision, to do his will not yours, and to know he is with you in these hardships (dependence, surrender, communion). Bring your needs to God here.
- Pray that you may experience His LOVE – in your heart and in His church.
- Take a while and IMAGINE how God will solve all these issues. Tell God what you see, and how you believe he can do so much more than that!