The apostle Paul prayed the following prayer for the Ephesian brethren: Ephesians 3:14-19 “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
I see four main things that the apostle Paul prayed for the brethren. First, he prayed that they would be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man. Each one of us, as Christians, has the Spirit within us. Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” It is this Spirit within us that can give us strength that we do not have on our own – strength to overcome the temptation of sin and strength to fight our enemy the devil. If we depend upon our own strength, we will fail. But like the apostle Paul, we can pray for ourselves and our fellow brethren to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in our inner being.
Second, he prayed that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith. When King Solomon constructed the temple in Jerusalem and the priests brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Most Holy Place, a cloud and the glory of the Lord filled the temple (1 Kings 8:10) and the presence of the Lord God dwelt in the temple. In the same way, we are God’s temple today. By faith, Christ can fill our hearts and dwell within us. He will want to cleanse his temple of all evil. We should welcome him into our hearts that he may live within us and cleanse us from sin. When the Holy Spirit and Christ are within us, how can we have the desire to displease them and do contrary to their will?
Third, the apostle Paul prayed that they would be able to comprehend the width and length and depth and height of the love of Christ. We have seen the love of Christ for us in that he was willing to give Himself to die on the cruel cross for each one of us. But we shouldn’t think that that is the limit of His love for us. He is now at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us (Romans 8:34). He has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:2). Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could comprehend the full extent of His love for us? We are told that God is love (1 John 4:16); that is one of His primary characteristics. I am confident that Christ is love also. If we really understood His love for us, it would motivate us to return that love and please Him in every way.
Fourth, the apostle Paul prayed that they would be filled with the fullness of God. Wow! One commentator said “To be filled with God is a great thing; to be filled with the fullness of God is still greater; but to be filled with all the fullness of God utterly bewilders the sense and confounds the understanding.” I will leave it at that.
What a powerful prayer! It is a prayer that I pray for you. That you would be strengthen with might through His Spirit in your inner being, that Christ would dwell in your heart through faith, that you would be able to comprehend the full extent of the love of Christ, and that you would be filled with all the fullness of God!