We come to Paul’s second prayer in his letter to the Ephesians. In his first prayer, found in 1:17-23, Paul prayed that God would grant them a spirit of wisdom and revelation; that they would know more of the hope of His calling, the riches of their glorious inheritance, and the immeasurable greatness of His power that works in us. When we come to Paul’s second prayer in this letter (3:14-21), we are immediately struck by the largeness of this prayer. He begins by asking God to strengthen the believers with spiritual power in their inner being that they may be able to endure with patience and joy (cf Col 1:11). Secondly, he asks that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith. Now we know that when we are united to Christ by faith, He indwells us by His Spirit (cf Rom 8:9; Gal 2:20). What Paul is praying for here is a fuller, unbroken, and permanent presence of Christ in our lives. It is certainly true that Christ physically dwells in heaven at the right hand of God the Father, but He also dwells in each one of us by His divine Spirit. This mystical union we have with Him is real and personal.
His third request seems somewhat paradoxical. Paul prays that the believers would be able to grasp the love of Christ that cannot be comprehended in its fullness; but what Paul is praying for is that we would grasp as much of it as our renewed humanity would enable us to. And as we do this, the greater will be our joy, love, gratitude, obedience, self-denying service, and devotion to Christ.
Paul ends his petition by saying that if these requests are realized in us, then we would be “filled with the fullness of God.” We would be fully satisfied with God. His goodness, love, truth, holiness would flood our souls, and in essence give us a foretaste of heaven on earth.
Now, in order to further encourage our faith in God’s willingness to grant us these great things, the apostle closes with this doxology. “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think..to Him be glory in the church…”
The question is then not of God’s willingness or ability to grant us these things, but our own desire to have them and willingness to part with the things that would keep us from receiving them. May the Lord help us, by His grace, to earnestly seek after more of His presence in our lives.