Paul's Powerful Prayer



It’s been said, “We live forward but understand backwards.” 

For many of us, that means we can look back over our lives and see all the stupid things we’ve done, knowing there is nothing we can do to change history. 

It also gives you the opportunity to look back and see God’s protection, His providence, and His promises specifically and purposefully woven throughout your life even when you were completely unaware. 

I have assigned labels to the seasons of my life, arranged in decades. It gives me a snapshot of my life and demonstrates the sovereignty of God regardless of the stupid decisions I made. 
If you clicked on "snapshot of my life" to read the labeled decades, you will notice I labeled the 1980s as “REBELLION”. 

I had chosen to seek happiness and fulfillment in the ways of the world rather than in the things of God. And my deep brokenness succumbed to the lies of the enemy, which led me down a very dark and empty road. 

I was aware of God’s Presence. I just ignored it.

But He wasn’t ignoring me. 
"You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you." (John 15:16)
One day, I picked up my Bible I received as a birthday gift five years earlier. It fell open to the book of Ephesians and my eyes landed on the subtitle, “Prayer of Realization” (NASB, Open Bible). I became mysteriously drawn to this beautiful prayer from Apostle Paul. 

I read this prayer repeatedly, finally memorizing it; for what reason, I did not know. 

Then a few years later, in 1991, God created a new restlessness in my spirit, drawing me back to Him. In time, He reminded me of that “mysterious prayer” I’d memorized years before, revealing to me the reason He had drawn me so intensely to it. (Eph. 3:3)


“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,  that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:14-21)

As God worked His divine plans and purposes into my life, He slowly began to unfold His instructions for me, using the above prayer as a kind of edict for me. I go back to it often for encouragement.

“For this reason . . .” 

Just as Jesus was burdened for the world to the point of death (John 3:16), in this letter to the Ephesians, Paul was burdened for the church as he sat in a Roman jail desirous of the Ephesians to receive every spiritual blessing that is theirs in Christ.  

The same is true for you, whether you've veered from the faithful path in a season of rebellion, faltered in disbelief from tribulation, or perhaps have willingly refused Christ your entire life, His glorious riches are yours in abundance. God’s grace is given according to the working of His power, not according to anything we have or haven’t done. 

Perhaps just like my season of rebellion, the darkness is where you are right now, and you're wondering if you will ever see the light of day.

Do not lose heart. There is a mighty treasury of mercy, grace, and love laid up in Christ Jesus, in whom we have boldness and confidence and through whom we have access to the throne of God.

Like Paul, I want you to know just how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Christ’s love is for you. 

Why? 

Because He revealed it to me when I least deserved it. 

I want you to know Christ, not just at a surface level, at an intimate level, rooted so deeply that the strongest winds of tribulations cannot shake you. And to be bubbling over with the fullness of God that it will automatically flow over into the lives of others. (Psalm 28:7)

That, my friends, is my prayer for you.

To God be the glory!  

 Shari