Presence and Love

God’s power works within us to know His love

Eph. 3:14-21

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 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, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

A prayer for God’s power to dwell within us, and for us to know the depth of His love – what a beautiful prayer!

I’ve loved this prayer of Paul’s for a long time and used to pray it during my personal prayer time.

He prays for such an intimate relationship with God for the Ephesians. For God’s Spirit to be in their inner being. For Christ to dwell in their hearts. For them to be ‘rooted and established’ in God’s love. For them to grasp the incredible love of Christ.

I’ve always found the phrase, ‘to know this love that surpasses knowledge’, interesting. I’m not sure what it means. Perhaps it means a different type of ‘know’ than intellectual head knowledge or mental assent. Perhaps it means to really experience it, to ‘know’ it by intuition or gut feel. What a thing to pray for!

‘That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.’ This makes me think of how God is love, and to know His love on a deep level is to be filled with Him. To be completely filled with His presence.

Perhaps Paul senses how big this prayer is, for he then mentions how God can do anything, by His power. God can fill our hearts. He can help us to grasp His love.

I imagine if we were even halfway towards grasping His love, and being filled with His presence, we couldn’t help but glorify Him, as Paul mentions in his last verse.

As I re-read the passage, two further reflections came to my mind. Firstly, God’s presence with us, and His love for us implies the gospel. In that way, this prayer is so gospel-centric.

Secondly, is how this prayer is Trinitarian. How it refers to the Father, to Christ and to the Spirit. In a prayer that refers so much to God’s love, I think this is appropriate. The Father, Son and Spirit have perfectly loved each other for eternity, and in the gospel, we are invited into that divine love. How amazing!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that you strengthen me through your Spirit, so that Christ may dwell in my heart. I pray that you may give me the power to grasp just how deep your love is, so that I may be filled with all that you are, and give you glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

A song to listen to: The Love of the Father (CityAlight)

David Lather

Living Church – Creek Road