This is the great privilege you have as a child of God.
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 Lord’s holy people, 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 (Ephesians 3:16-19).
What do you ask God for when you pray? Do you pray for things or do you ask him to change your circumstances? God is your Father and you can ask him for anything your heart desires, or talk with him about anything and everything going on in your life. This is the great privilege you have as a child of God.
But have you ever noticed the requests Paul made, or the other Apostles when they prayed?
For example, we see several prayers in the book of Ephesians. Below are six specific requests Paul made not only for himself, but for us as well. He prayed…
- that we may know Jesus better
- that we may know the hope to which he has called us
- that we may know his incomparably great power for us who believe
- that Christ may be at home in our hearts
- that we understand and experience the height and depth and length and breadth of the love of God
- that we will be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Think about what Paul is requesting. Knowing Jesus better is all about experiencing eternal life to the full (John 17:3). Knowing the hope we have is about being anchored firmly in the grace of God (Hebrews 6:19). Knowing his power is about living victoriously, saying “No” to sin and “Yes” to Jesus (Romans 8:37). Having Christ at home in our hearts is about contentment and joy (Philippians 4:11). Understanding and experiencing the love of Christ is about fulfilling our highest calling (John 13:34). And being filled to the measure of all the fullness of God is about living out our completeness in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
We can be sure that every one of these requests match up the will of God for us. When Paul prayed for these things, he did so with confidence knowing that God would hear and answer.
The same is true for us.
Let me ask. What would happen if you started to pray to know Jesus better, or to know the hope that you have in Christ, or to gain a deeper understanding of the love of God? Try it. Your life will never be the same.