For this reason…

My favorite prayer in all of Scripture is found in Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus and I’m excited to share it with you today. But before I do, I want to thank you for joining me through this study of prayers in the New Testament. I have enjoyed digging into God’s Word with you.

February was a rough month for Paul and I, between illnesses that reeked havoc on our family and the passing of Paul’s father, I was honestly surprised when someone told me it was March already. I want to send a special thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, and supported us during this time. We are so blessed.

And now, in the words of the apostle Paul:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

~ Ephesians 3:14-21

When I read that prayer, I am overcome with the tremendous importance of love. When Jesus truly dwells in our hearts, we love Him, and that love we have from Him strengthens our faith, which in turn strengthens us.

I love the word picture Paul gives us about being rooted and grounded in love. When we studied the fruit of the Spirit last year, the first fruit we looked at was the fruit of love. It’s like the taproot and everything else stems off of it.

Without love we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13).

Can you grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is? It’s a love that surpasses knowledge, and He loves us that much.

When we fail, God loves us.

When we don’t love others, God loves us.

For while we were still sinners, God sent His son to die for us, because He loves us that much.

How great is our God.

I know this is a short lesson, but it’s so powerful. I encourage you to dwell on the love of Christ today. Let it overflow out of you onto those in your life.

And now I want to leave you with another prayer Paul wrote, this one was to the church in Philippi…

“And this is my prayer:
that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

~ Philippians 1:9-11

 

Reflection Questions

  • Are you rooted and grounded in love?
  • What are some of the ways you can show love to others this week?
  • Do you try to love others out of your own strength, or by letting God’s love overflow out of you and onto those around you?

Take it Deeper

  • Read the following Scriptures: Romans 1:16; John 3:16; Romans 5:5-81; Corinthians 4:20-21; Romans 8:37-39; Matthew 22:34-40; Matthew 5:43-48; John 13:34-35; John 15:13; John 14:23-24; Romans 12:9-10
  • Download the PDF Study Guide
  • Join the conversation! Share one or more of your answers to the reflection questions in the comments below.

 

Important Update

This wraps up our study through the prayers of the New Testament. You can find all of the previous lessons below, and sign up to get e-mail updates for our next study. Be sure to come back on Monday to find out what we’ll be looking at next!

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Previous posts in this series

Study announcement

What is prayer?

The Lord’s Prayer

The Humble Prayer

A Prayer for Strength

Forgiveness from the Cross

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