Tag Archive: prayer


Today I Believe

Lord, You have always given
Bread for the coming day;
And though I am poor,
Today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
Strength for the coming day;
And though I am weak,
Today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
Peace for the coming day;
And though of anxious heart,
Today I believe.

Lord, You have always kept me
Safe in trials;
And now, tried as I am,
Today I believe.

Lord, You have always marked
The road for the coming day;
And though it may be hidden,
Today I believe.

Lord, You have always lightened
This darkness of mind;
And though the night is here,
Today I believe.

Lord, You have always spoken
When time was ripe;
And though you be silent now,
Today I believe.

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Love = Miracle Gro, Pt. 3

In this group of posts, we’ve been looking at Paul’s apostolic prayer found in Ephesians. At first, we began dissecting the passage, then we looked at the symbolism of plant growth (I spoke of a tree, but I don’t know exactly what was on Paul’s mind). Now, let’s look at what all of this means for us practically.

When looking at the passage, I’m struck by the level to which Paul emphasizes the size of Jesus’ love. It is as if Paul uses every dimension that he can think of in order to stress the size and scope of God’s love, and even with the use of as much hyperbole as possible, he still runs short of being able to explain “the love for us that is in Christ Jesus.”

With that said, you might be wondering, “Yes, but how does this work? I thought you were going to give some application here!” Let us not forget that this passage is a prayer. That means that the only thing that we can functionally do with it is to replicate it. We don’t pray a prayer like this and expect the answer to come from ourselves or others. Paul is asking for some work to be done here by the Holy Spirit.

Do any of us fully comprehend how much God loves us? Who of us would answer “yes” to that question? We need God himself (God the Holy Spirit) to enable us to further understand His (God the Father) love for us in Jesus (God the Son). Isn’t that crazy? We can, with God’s help, continually grow (see all the plant-ish connections?) to understand and grasp God’s love.

And since this is a prayer, we can ask this of God on behalf of others. We need to ask this on behalf of others. After all, if you were a plant, would you rather grow in rocky sand or in miracle gro?

 

This post is part of a series. To view the previous post, click here.

Love = Miracle Gro, Pt. 1

Ephesians 3:16-19:

“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 saints, 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.”

Recently I decided to take a look at the Apostolic Prayers of the New Testament. I chose to study eight of these passages. There are more prayers offered up by Paul and more prayers offered up by the other Apostles which are recorded in the New Testament, but I found these eight to be the most direct and easy to approach.

With that said, here are my thoughts upon the first one: Ephesians 3:16-19.

“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.” (v 16-17a).”

From this I draw several conclusions.

First of all, our God is so kingly and so mighty that he uses riches, not resources. In human terms, God doesn’t deal in dimes and nickels. He’s the kind of guy who has a wallet stuffed with $100 bills. Not only this, but he can afford to just pay for things out of excess! If he went to a restaurant, he could just slap down four or five of his bills and effortlessly pick up the tab for the entire restaurant. And at the end, he would say “it’s ok, keep the $67.85 in change. I’m no where near running out of cash.” Only God can be loose with his spiritual money and not be guilty of wastefulness due to the treasure trove of riches he has at hand. And it is a looseness with his spiritual riches that Paul prays for here. That the Lord would literally dump “power through his Spirit in your inner being.”

Secondly, I want to ask the question, “what does it look like to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in our inner being?” The answer, I believe comes after Paul finishes his prayer, in verse 20: “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 the glory…” (Emphasis mine). I pray that we might develop the habit of looking introspectively on a regular basis to see where the Lord is at work within us. It is a Christian precept that the Holy Spirit abides within Christians. Paul is asking for a veritable explosion of powerful work by the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Ephesian Christians. In such a way that they would not be able to deny that something craaaaaazy was going on inside of themselves and that it was not their imagination; that they could see where they were and where the are now thanks to what God has done.

Finally, I want to look at the intent of this prayer (a brief glance will show that Ephesians 3:16-19 is comprised of three complementary prayers). Why? “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” The working model would look something like this: God sends his Spirit (the Holy Spirit, which IS power) into a believer’s life. The Spirit brings a both a significant internal transformation and a marked increase in spiritual power to a believer. The believer, seeing more and more what the Spirit is doing, will naturally have more and more faith (we are human and our faith is wobbly and weak at times). This whole process will strengthen the believer as a whole, which brings us back to the beginning of verse 16, “…he may strengthen you with power…” The end result being a believer (and a group of believers [“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…”; “hearts” being plural]) who is experiencing an influx of supernatural power thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit and who responds to this influx with ever-strengthening trust not only in the existence of God, but in the reliability of God to help him when in times of trouble or adversity.

Whew! In the next post we’ll be looking at why I titled this series of posts “Love = Miracle Gro. Thanks for reading and I pray that the Lord would make this prayer of the Apostle Paul true in the life of anyone who reads this post!

This post is part of a series. To view the next post, click here.