On the first day of 2016, I sat on contemplatively on my large bed with the soft new year light pouring in and the large pine tree outside swaying in the wind. I had my journal and pen in hand (and coffee nearby!), ready to write out my goals and aspirations for the year. It was here the word "deeper" came to mind and I knew instantly it was my theme for the year. It was that same day as I poured over scriptures the passage Ephesians 3:14-21 popped out to me.
Dozens of times over the last two months I've returned to this passage for encouragement, strength, edification, and comfort. Its sweets words are soothing to my heart and soul when I feel troubled, discouraged, and unsure. Today I'd like to share with you the power of these words and how they apply to your life, in the hope it does the same for you.
Do you often fall to your knees and pray to the Father? I do wish I did it more than when I'm just desperate. There is something special that happens when I hit the floor in submission and lay it all out at the Father's feet. It's here I find the fuel and strength to persevere forward when I don't feel like it. But that's how it should be as Ephesians beautifully states. And it's in this state where Christ takes root in our hearts; when we trust Him with everything.
There was a short time in my early twenties I served on the stage team for a large children's ministry and I use to lead worship (don't worry; I didn't have a mic!). There was one song I still remember to this day and it was my favorite then, "Your Love Is Deep" by Hillsong Kids.
That children's song struck a chord within me so deeply as it described the incredible lengths of God's love for us. To think His love never ends, never fails, and is always there is very comforting in an unsure world. I imagine Paul sitting on the prison floor, shackled in his chains, contemplating on the vastness of God's love. As he contemplates he bursts into prayer...this prayer.
Notice that this prayer is not for anything physical. He's not being asked to be released from prison or for human favor. There is no physical fulfillment he seeks. Paul, in a place most would consider the bottom, is praying for the spiritual benefits. Specifically, he prays for 4 things:
- Strength (v.16)
- Depth (v.17)
- Comprehension (v.18-19a)
- Fullness (v.19b)
Paul's prayer for you and I is that when we truly seek God, we would be granted these 4 prayers. What's important is that none of these prayers are independent from the others, either. That one would lead to another in fullness.
Paul is praying that YOU would be strengthened by the power of God that leads to Christ's roots taking deep residency in your heart and allowing you the understanding of his love. This leads you to fullness in God.
In closing his prayer, Paul ends with a reminder that God is powerful and able to do so much more than we can imagine. It's a reminder we take into our own prayers.
Whatever you might be going through today--it may be hard, discouraging, defeating--fall to your knees in prayer. Soak up God's love and strength so that you can move forward in the plans He has for you. Remind yourself that God can do anything on your behalf and wants to! That's the best part--God is on your side! He is for you and not against you. And when you God is on your side anything is possible.
- What is God speaking to you right now? Perhaps take a few minutes to journal your thoughts and prayers from this devotional.