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.
Ehesians 3:14-21 ESV
I used to be timid about my prayers. By knowledge, I knew God is good, and He would listen to any of my prayers. But to avoid asking God for things that I perceived to be too obsessive, absurd, or unattainable, I approached Him and presented my requests with reserve. In other words, my prayers were restricted by my narrow mind and small faith. But in recent years, God has opened my eyes through Paul’s prayer in verses 20 and 21, which has changed how I pray.
The Reason for Prayer
Paul prayed to God with insight into God’s will and purpose. At both beginnings of verses 1 and 14, Paul started with “for this reason.” Paul’s reason for prayer is what he had written in chapter 2 regarding the blessings we received from Christ and the reconciliation between the Gentiles and the Jews through Christ Jesus. In short, the reason for Pauls’s prayer is the church. What is the reason for our prayers? Are we asking for our own pleasure and benefits? Or are we praying in the interest of God’s kingdom and righteousness?
The Attitude of Prayer
Paul said, “I bowed my knees before the Father.” Paul approached God with a humble heart. The humility came when he considered God’s greatness and glory. How do we approach God when we pray? Do we respect and honor His power and sovereignty? Or do we treat Him like a Genie in the lamp, which should fulfill our wishes?
The Faith of Prayer
… that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.Ephesians 3:19
Though approaching God with a humble heart, the scope of Paul’s prayer was daring and great. Paul asked God to fill the church with all of the fullness of God. This is the greatest of all the great requests in Paul’s prayer. To be filled with God is already a great thing for most of us. To be filled with the fullness of God is even greater. Paul’s prayer is to be filled with ALL the fullness of God, which means ALL of God and His abundance are filled in us! Can we comprehend what it means? Are our hearts big enough to contain all of it? And who would dare to ask God for something bigger than what our hearts can have? Paul did with His daring faith!
No matter how great and impossible our requests to God may seem, if we boldly bring them to Him with His will, His kingdom, and righteousness in mind and wait humbly before Him, He can do far more abundantly than what we ask and think, according to the power at work within us. God can always top it up.
Our God is powerful. There is nothing impossible in Him.
Our God is also good. He longs to fill us with all of the fullness of Him!