I will be the first to admit that prayer is something I struggle with. I don’t prioritize time to pray as often as I should, and when I do find time, I sometimes struggle with where I should even start. In times like these, I’ve found that praying through Psalms or other passages of the Bible help my heart to pray – even when I don’t know where to begin!
Recently as I’ve been praying for different people in my life, and even for my own heart, I’ve found myself praying through Ephesians 3:14-19:
“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 strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
This was Paul’s prayer for spiritual strength for the church in Ephesus. I love this passage for two reasons:
One, Paul is praying for things that we all need spiritually, strength and understanding. Strength that is found in the Spirit instead of in our own ability or things of the world and understanding of the amazing power and might of the Lord.
Two, this passage prompts my heart to pray for other things in my life and in the lives of others, things such as my need to love others well and the reminder for me to not become passive in continually learning more about the Lord.
Paul ends this prayer for spiritual strength in verses 20-21 when he says:
“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.”
What do you notice in how Paul is ending his prayer? He’s giving glory to God and his work in Christ. Paul says that God is able to do far more than what we ask of him, and that he should get all the glory, not to us. How often we pray and forget to praise the Lord and give him glory for the amazing works he’s doing – not only in our lives, but in the lives of others as well.
So my hope is that Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 will be something you can pray through, but also as you spend time in the Word your heart will be prompted to pray.
Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of the Lord is “living and active”. Since it is “living” we know that the Bible will never stop pertaining to all of the world and our lives. Therefore, when we read the Bible, our hearts’ response should be to pray because we are being changed by the Spirit through God’s Word.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12