Talk about praying big prayers! Talking about going for broke on the ask! Then, you’re talking about Ephesians 3:14-21.
Chewing on Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers. And Paul swings for the fence.
He prays first that they be “strengthened with power” in their “inner being” through the Spirit of God. Okay, maybe not the biggest ask as the Spirit already indwells them. But here it’s not about being reminded of the Spirit’s placement but a request for practically knowing the Spirit’s power. And to what end? Now it starts getting big.
To the end that Christ would actively and continually inhabit their hearts, pervading and governing their lives through faith. So that, grounded in the love of Christ, they would have the ability to comprehend the incomprehensible dimensions of the love of Christ, laying hold of something beyond what they can get their arms around. And that so they would practically experience the love of Christ.
Did I mention this was big? Yeah? Well, it gets bigger. All this knowing the love of Christ which surpasses knowing is so that they would “be filled with the fullness of God.”
Filled with the fullness of God. Chew on that for a bit. Brings to mind that quote from Aladdin, “Phenomenal cosmic powers … Itty bitty living space.”
Filled with the fullness of God. Really? Yeah, really. That’s the prayer. That’s the ask. How big is that? Pretty big!
I’m okay with the “by faith” part. I believe the Spirit’s is in me, the Bible tells me so. I believe Christ dwells in my heart; the Bible tells me that too. But to comprehend it? To know it, like really know it, as in experientially know it? Ah, that seems like a stretch.
And, for sure it would be . . . if it were left up to me to make happen. But it ain’t.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be . . .
(Ephesians 3:14-16a ESV)
What Paul prays for to be realized in me is furnished by the Father who is so far beyond me, the One who made me and redeemed me. What Paul prays I would know, like really know, is freely given me by the God who has already given me His best — not sparing His own Son but giving Him up for us all — and is now ready to graciously give us all things (Rom. 8:32).
Even being filled to the fullness of God? Yup, even that.
Big prayer because it draws on an unlimited, infinite resource. It’s not about the itty bitty living space. It’s all about the phenomenal cosmic power. Big prayer because we have a big God.
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, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)
Able to do far more abundantly than what we could imagine or articulate. That’s our God. That’s the power granted us. That’s the power at work within us.
Ours is to know it through faith. Ours is to grow into it by faithfulness.
Big ask? Yeah, you bet. But far from an impossible ask. For with God all things are possible (Mk. 10:27).
By His grace. For His glory.