the prayer that changed my prayer

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

This is Paul’s opening to chapter 3 of his letter to the Ephesians. And then he goes off-roading a bit, with the explanation of his calling to preach to the gentiles. This is why we have to connect Paul’s prayer in chapter 3, not to the 12 verses above it, but to the ending verses in chapter 2.

So it would look like this:

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

“For this reason I kneel before the Father…”

templeHis language points back to the Old Testament and the building of the temple…the dwelling place for God’s glory.

And then he prayed for power. Power to trust Christ so He could dwell in their hearts. Be at home there. Settle down and ‘dwell fixedly there’. (Vines Expository Dictionary)

He tells them that they are rooted and grounded in love. The words speak of a foundation. The foundation for the gentiles being included into the family of God was love.

{We, you and I, are laid upon that same foundation. Love is why we are His.}

He prayed that God’s power would enable them to grasp the dimensions of Christ’s love, how truly expansive it is, and to know that love.

And I heard God speak to me words that began a quaking in me.

“How wide, high, long and deep was the chasm that sin created between you and Me? I want you to intimately experience the love that poured into that chasm, filling it completely and beyond, until it was a chasm no longer.”

{This grasping has me gasping for air.}

..and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.

gnōsis. It is the general knowledge of the Christian religion.

{Take what you think you know about the love of Christ, throw it as far as you can and see where it lands. His love will go beyond it. That is love that surpasses knowledge. It is beyond what we can know with our minds, no matter how much we investigate and study.}

He LOVES more than we can KNOW.

Power for faith. Power to grasp love. Power to know love.

{Everything needs the power of God. Everything.

Why was he praying for all of this?

So that God, and His glory can fill the temple…the Church…you. me.

Paul didn’t pray what he prayed because it sounded good, and maybe had a shot at being answered.

{He prayed what God breathed.}

But it is God’s next breath that has changed my prayer life.

Ephesians3-20-detail-150x150More. IMMEASURABLY more. Exceedingly above and beyond more. More than I can ask. More than I would even consider asking, could imagine asking.

My prayers do not set the boundaries for God. They are not His finish line, they are His starting line.

Ephesians 3:14-21; Ephesians 2:19-22; 2Timothy 3:16

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