In the last while, I have been receiving great comfort and encouragement from praying according to Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. More recently, I moved backwards in Ephesians to consider how Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23 helps us appreciate the prayer-focus later in the letter.
When I connect these encouragements to prayer with the real-life struggles of God’s children, I see how liberating it would be if we prayed for these things rather than believed our lives were too difficult for God to handle.
I will not elaborate at the moment, but I present both these prayers with the encouragement that all who love the Lord Jesus Christ can pray these things in faith that they are God’s will for us, and, therefore, God will most assuredly answer our prayers. In addition, his answers will surely liberate us from anything that holds us back from growing up in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Praying Ephesians 1:15-23
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Praying Ephesians 3:14-21
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.
Expectation: Do not be surprised if God exposes things in our lives that are of the “poor in spirit” variety of problems that makes us “those who mourn”. However, he does this so we will meekly accept we cannot fix what is wrong with us, and that we will have such a sincere hunger and thirst for his righteousness that he will transform us from whatever ails us, into the ever-increasing likeness to Jesus Christ our Lord.
We just have to pray, and watch in anticipation of how God answers.
© 2016 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)
 Not so incidentally, it is in Ephesians 4:1-16 that Paul gives such a clear description of how Jesus designed the church, his body, so that “the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (vs 16).
 The Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-12 show the qualities of heart we find in ourselves when God is blessing us (poverty of spirit, mourning, meekness, hungering for righteousness), so we ought to expect to see those things as God works to conform us to the image of his Son. II Corinthians 3:18 tells us to expect our transformation to look like growing “from one degree of glory to another”. Praying according to God’s revealed will is one way to join him in this work.