I’m sitting in the Calgary International Airport as I write this. It’s Sunday evening, and I’m traveling home after speaking at a Stonecroft Ministries’ conference in Toronto over the weekend. And what a weekend it was!
I wish y’all could have heard the women sing “How Great Thou Art” this morning: ”And when I think that God His Son not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in. That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin…”
My thoughts turned to heaven as I listened. Imagine someday being part of a choir made of millions of voices, from every language, praising God for His great love for us. Today provided just a tiny peek at what’s to come!
Speaking of God’s great love, Ephesians 3:17-19 have become very meaningful to me over the past few months. This passage is packed with truth. So much, in fact, that it warrants being read and pondered—slowly and prayerfully—many times over.
I encourage you to write these verses on a recipe card. Post it where you’ll see it often. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand the verses’ meaning. Then turn them into a prayer, expecting God to answer. In fact, I’ll write a suggested prayer for you, based on those verses. First, here’s the passage:
“I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).
See why these verses are so meaningful? They’re amazing! Now here’s the prayer:
“Heavenly Father, I invite You to make Yourself at home in my heart. Send my roots deep into the soil of Your marvelous love. Grant me the power to understand its scope—its width, length, height, and depth. Allow me the privilege of experiencing and recognizing that love every day. And Lord, as You teach me more about Your love for me, please fulfill the promise that accompanies a deeper understanding of this gift—fill me with the fullness of life and power that comes from You alone. In Jesus name, amen.”
I’m going to pray this regularly for myself and for my family. Join me, okay? Let’s see what God will do in and through us as He answers!
Prayer for the Filling of God’s Power and Love
By Debbie McDaniel
“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 measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19
God is powerful and loving. And He desires to fill our lives, our days, with that same power and love through His Holy Spirit. Paul prayed this prayer over the Ephesians. He had spent over 3 years with this people, working with the church of Ephesus, he loved them and longed to see them walking closely with God. His desire was that they would be continually strengthened with God’s power, and living out their faith with the example of the love of Christ.
We can know this in our heads, yet find it difficult at times to walk it out in daily life. We’re busy. We’re tired. We feel alone or broken. We’re distracted. We get offended. We harbor bitterness or resentment.
But no matter what we might be facing or feeling, when we’re willing to stand together as the body of Christ, dependent on God for the Spirit’s fresh filling of power and love, all other things lose their hold on us.
For God’s love encompasses all. It reaches to every dark crevice and fills every need or longing. It gives power to forgive and to let go of the past. It releases sin’s hold and gives peace to the hurting. It is powerful and surpasses our own knowledge and understanding.
It is “wide.” It stretches to a greater expanse and extent than we can ever imagine.
It is “long.” It encompasses the length of our days, before and all beyond.
It is “high.” It reaches to the highest heavens.
It is “deep.” It extends to the deepest pit.
His love never fails.
We thank you that you indeed are powerful and loving, that out of your glorious riches you strengthen us through your Spirit in our inner being. We ask you for the fresh filling of your Holy Spirit, we ask for your power and love to fill us. We thank you that as believers we know that Christ dwells richly within our hearts through faith. We pray that you would strengthen our roots and establish our lives firmly in your love.
When the world shouts hate, help us to love. When the past won’t let go, help us to love. When the enemy taunts with lies and surrounds with darkness, help us to love. When a relationship feels broken or we’re betrayed or rejected, help us to love.
Help us to love, and to keep on loving. By the power of your Spirit.
Even when it seems impossible.
Even when it doesn’t make sense.
May our lives be filled with your goodness and power, today and every day, as we walk in your Spirit of love.
In Jesus’ Name,
Find more by Debbie at http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Job 1:9-11
Gracious Father, I sometimes wonder if Satan watches American religious television, because there’s a lot there to fuel his accusations… much of it could substantiate his charge that the only reason we love you is because of the goodies you give us. It’s hard not to be cynical when I sample the materialistic propaganda proffered as the gospel.
However, I must guard my heart, because as far as “creature comforts” go, I don’t have anything whine-worthy going on. I’m not currently experiencing any major challenges to my faith or the glorious claims of the gospel. I’ve got good health… none of my family members are in crisis… we’re eating and sleeping well. Nothing beyond the normal fallen-ness and brokenness of life is happening, around me or within me.
Father, I presume on none of your generous providence. I take none of your good gifts for granted. It’s only by your grace that I don’t struggle with entitlement as much as I used to. The gospel has convinced me that everything I have comes from you (1 Corinthians 4:7).
So as I think today about Job’s story, it’s not with gritted teeth or clinched fists. But Satan’s question always remains current… Why do we love you? What’s our motivation for worshipping you? How will I think about you the next time I suffer loss, betrayal and pain? That, no doubt, will happen.
I want to be a man who loves and worships you simply because you are God. You’ve created me and you’ve redeemed me through the work of your beloved Son, Jesus. There’s no other god besides you, and there’s certainly no other god like you. I’m grateful for your gifts… but I want to love and worship you, the Giver, as the primary treasure of my heart.
Cause the roots of my heart to grow deeper and deeper and deeper into the rich soil of the gospel. That is my need, that is my cry. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ holy and loving name.