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Praying for Strength....to Love?
What do you need strength for today or for this week? If you need strength from the Holy Spirit this week, what would you need the strength for? How would you pray about this?
That is the question I asked myself this week, after reading and really breaking apart the passage below. Look at this passage from Ephesians 3:14-19 below, in italics. It is 5 verses long, but it is all one sentence!
So let’s read it all the way through first, and then we are going to parse it down to just the main interlinking phrases. In other words, we will then focus on the main connecting ideas of this very long sentence.
"14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [l]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [m]saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."
Let’s start with the first part of this massive sentence, verses 14 -17.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
So that He would grant you to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit,
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts,
So you will be rooted and grounded in love,
Wow. I admit it. I haven’t prayed for that kind of strength before. Have you?
Father, give me the strength today to be…..rooted and grounded in love?
Next I imagined – what if I did start praying that each morning?
What if, instead of praying my more typical prayers…I started each morning praying for God to strengthen me so that I may be rooted and grounded in love throughout the day?
How would my attitude change?
Would I be less flustered when dealing with difficult people at work?
Would I have more compassion for others at work and at home? Would I have more patience with the students and work with if I asked God each morning to strengthen me to be rooted and grounded in love?
Would I use kinder words and less potentially hurtful sarcasm at home?
Would praying a daily prayer for that kind of strength – the strength to love – would that perhaps just change everything throughout my day?
I think it would. So you know what I am going to do next, right? Yes, that’s right. I am going to test this out. For the next two weeks I am going to pray this prayer each morning, a prayer that requests strength from the Holy Spirit to be able to go through my day rooted and grounded in love. I’m going to keep a journal about how the day goes. Do you want to try this 2 week test out with me? Let’s do it!
Finally, to close this piece of writing out, let’s also look at what we receive when we ask for the strength to love. The rest of the main phrases of Ephesians 17-18 tell us that when we are rooted and grounded in love, that we will be able to understand and experience two main things:
1) We will be able to comprehend the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge; and
2) We will be filled up with the fulness of God.
Do you notice that there is what might be called a self-feeding loop that happens when we start to pray this way?
First, we pray to God, asking Him to strengthen us in our ability to be rooted and grounded in love.
Then we are able to comprehend Christ’s love, and we will also be filled up with the fullness of God.
Finally, do you see the “self repeating loop” within this instruction? The loop comes down to simply this:
Ask God to help you become strengthened in your ability to be rooted and grounded in love.
Then you will understand Christ’s love and you will experience God’s fullness.
I don’t know about you, but I like those God experiences.
And now I know that by praying to be strengthened in my ability to love…that this will lead to having greater understanding and greater experience of God.
And now you know too.
So stop and pray and meditate on this right now. Pray that God, through His Spirit, will strengthen you in your ability to love from the roots up, or from your innermost being to the world around you.
If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos
The author also posts on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GospelLifeBooks
Author's other books can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Elaine-Evans