Christ's Love for Us
14I kneel in prayer to the Father. 15All beings in heaven and on earth receive their life from him. 16God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that his Spirit will make you become strong followers 17and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in his love. 18 I pray that you and all God's people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep. 19I want you to know all about Christ's love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is.
20-21I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.
Isn’t it comforting when we know that people are praying for us, particularly when times are tough? At such times praying can be very difficult; but knowing that friends and family are praying for us lifts our spirits.
Paul took praying for the spiritual needs of others very seriously indeed, and it must have been such an encouragement to the believers to hear how earnestly he prayed for them. He’d already assured them of this (1:15-19), telling them he had asked God to give them the Spirit so they would know Him better, experience His power and understand the hope that was theirs.
Now Paul tells the believers he is praying that the Father will strengthen them with power through His Spirit, and that Christ will dwell in their hearts through faith (vv.16-17). But his requests know no bounds, for he goes on to ask the Father that they will grasp the magnitude of Christ’s love and be filled to overflowing with all that God can give them.
What is the nature of God’s power that Paul prays they will discover? In 1:19-20, he wrote: “I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side in heaven”. So God’s power is about bringing people out of ‘death’, which is the place of total inability and despair. He does what no other god can do, giving life to the dead.
Paul finishes this section by telling the believers that they shouldn’t be surprised by what God does, as He isn’t limited.
Dear Father, Thank you that Paul set us such an example in prayer. Please help us to pray for the spiritual needs of people we know, and thank you for those who have prayed for us when they have sensed our need. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.