How is your prayer life? Mine needs some help. As someone said to me yesterday, prayer is the most foundational source of our power, yet for many of us it remains the final frontier. Perhaps in this culture more than ever, it can be a struggle to simply stop, lock it down, and be quiet before God.
What is prayer? It is the pouring out of the soul before God. It is two-way communication. It is hearing the still, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit.
Two days ago, Pastor Josh Loeve of Centre Church in Surrey unpacked this gem of a passage from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
What can we learn from Paul here and apply to our own lives? Here are a few points to consider:
- “I bow my knees before the Father.” Whether we’re praying or worshiping, physical posture is important. Literally bowing the knees or raising the hands before God can lead our hearts and minds into a similar posture of praise. Raising our hands (even when we’re not “feeling” it) can say ‘God, I lift you up’ or ‘God, I surrender to You.’
- “That according to the riches of his glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being.” God doesn’t expect us to make positive changes in our lives out of our own strength. When we’re filled with God’s Holy Spirit, He makes us better than ourselves.
- “Rooted and grounded in love.” Like a great Douglas Fir, our roots need to go deep in Christ, or we will be swept over by the next great storm of our lives. Just like a marriage, we strengthen our love in Christ by spending regular and meaningful times of interaction with Him. It’s simple but unavoidable. We need to hear the Shepherd’s voice to know it.
- “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” How big is your God? Do you worship the God of the universe, Lord of all creation, Source of the Resurrection and the Life? God is far, far bigger and more powerful than we will ever understand. Don’t let our western worldview intellectualize and reason God into small, limited spaces. Our God cannot be framed or contained. He is worthy of our love, our prayer, our worship.