Ephesians 3:14-21 – Dr. Todd Gray
When is the last time you’ve done something that you couldn’t do on your own? I often find myself in a situation where I’m beyond my capacity and I need help. It’s the same with the Christian life. It’s easier with help. The best partner you can have in life is Jesus.
Jesus is capable of anything and we can access Him through prayer. Paul shows us in Ephesians 3:14-21. The first thing we see him praying for is help— to be strengthened with His power. He kneels before the Lord in humility.
Praying With a Humble Heart
Consistently, in Paul’s prayers, we see his heart. Paul kneels because he humbles himself. It’s an act that we must take as we come before God.
Don’t be surprised if God provides you to be humble. He will require humility from you as a follower. Kneeling is a great example of how we physically demonstrate humility that is connected to our hearts.
Think of a time when you would kneel for someone else in your ordinary life. Maybe for those reading today who proposed and asked their wife to marry him. That’s a vulnerable position on your knee.
Think of the times you might have done that for a king. A king could do anything they wanted to you in that vulnerable position. Despite the chance, you take that position to show respect and humility. He could have killed you or hurt you, but you chose to take the guard down and show honor.
It’s also been used as an act of worship. It’s a physical condition that I often take in my prayer time because it reminds my heart of the situation that I’m really in.
Paul understood his position under God’s authority. He doesn’t stand in pride. He kneels in humility and a vulnerable position. God created you. Which means He gets to tell you what He wants from you. You were created in His image to bring Him glory. God hears and He honors the humble heart.
Praying For Spiritual Strength
Paul prays for the Ephesians. The first thing he asks for is strength.
The biggest thing we notice is that he is praying for spiritual things. While physical and material needs are important, he places eternal needs above all of us.
Think back to your prayer life this week. What consumed your prayer life? Was it spiritual? Was it for others? Or was it based on your physical needs?
I’m not saying those are bad, you can ask God for those things. I’m just saying when you see the example of Paul, you see very little physical things prayed for. Spiritual strength lasts much longer.
When’s the last time you prayed for patience in a situation instead of asking for the situation to change? When’s the last time you asked for contentment instead of asking for more? When’s the last time you asked for wisdom instead of praying for wealth?
Often, prosperity guides us and it does Satan a favor by hurting us and blinding us. Prosperity has caused us to become weak and selfish. We whine about what we don’t have compared to others. We depend on ourselves more instead of God. We desire things more than spiritual value. We become complacent in the church.
Maybe you want prosperity because you are going through a tough time and you see a way out. That doesn’t get rid of the root of your problems and there will always be challenges. You cannot do this alone. You need help. You need Jesus and it starts with prayer. Pray to grow closer to Him, to hear Him, and to give Him full reigns on your life.
Pray for spiritual strength, church, so that Christ can dwell with you.
Praying For Spiritual Strength
Paul prays that we are rooted in Christ. It’s a term that describes a tree that is firmly planted with its roots or firmly anchored to the ground so that when the winds blow or the storms move in, that tree stands firm.
What do you think when that strong hurricane or that tornado comes through? What do you think is going to happen to a tree that isn’t firmly rooted? It’s going to topple right over. It’s not going to stay firmly planted.
Are you rooted in the love of Christ?
It’s been tough these last couple of years. We’ve suffered a numerical loss. When we face storms and challenges, the only thing that can help us withstand those winds is the Lord. If you are rooted deep in your relationship, you can make it through. If your prayer life and relationship are shallow, you are susceptible to storms.
The deep abiding rooted love of Christ, daily quiet time in prayer, and Bible reading. These are the Christians that when the winds came and the storms blew in, they stood strong. And guess what? You’re still standing today. Praise God for you. Praise God for them. The deeper the roots in Christ’s love go, the stronger you will be.
Paul also prays that they’re grounded. It’s the same idea this time but instead of talking about a tree, he talks about a building. A healthy building is anchored to a strong foundation. That’s a beautiful picture of how we should be in Christ. We are anchored in His love.
Maybe you have already fallen. You cannot fall to a place that’s so low that Jesus cannot find you and pick you up. You can start from where you are today and begin to grow deep roots so you can be secure through your relationship with Christ.
Pray that God would allow you to experience the volume of His love for you in Christ and that you might be anchored so you’re not tossed to the ever-changing winds of the world. Pray for spiritual things and that God shows His love and glory through you.
If you are not consistent with your prayer life, start today. Thank the Lord for His love and mercy, and pray that He strengthens and grows you.