Summary: Paul prays that the Ephesian believers would have power to dwell, power to grasp and power to know God's love
PRAYER FOR THE EPHESIANS
One day a young man found a genie-in-a-bottle. This young adult is walking down the beach and comes across an old Arabic looking lamp. He rubs it and out pops a genie. The genie says, "Thank you for freeing me from the lamp. In return I will grant you three wishes." The man says, "Great! I always dreamed of this and I know exactly what I want. First, I want one billion dollars in a Swiss bank account." Poof! There is a flash of light and a piece of paper with account numbers appears in his hand. He continues, "Next, I want a brand new red Ferrari right here." Poof! There is a flash of light and a bright red brand-new Ferrari appears right next to him. He continues, "Finally, I want to be irresistible to women." Poof! There is a flash of light and he is turned into a box of chocolates.
What is the moral of the story? We need to be careful about what we wish for! We also need to be careful for what we pray for. Today we are continuing in our series on prayer and I want us to take a look at a prayer that Paul prayed for the Ephesians.
Ephesians chapter 3 is a wonderful chapter. After taking the first two chapters to describe who we are in Christ, Paul begins by saying “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles …” and you can see him stop and then go off on a tangent. He talks about his own calling, his mission to preach Christ to the Gentiles. He talks about the fact that even though he is called to such a great task he is writing from prison. To encourage the church not to loose heart he prays this prayer;
Eph 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family 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 saints, 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.
Paul prayed that the Ephesians would have power. The word power is the Greek word DUNAMIS which means you CAN or are able to do something. Paul is praying here that the Ephesians would have the power or ability to do 3 things:
1. Power to Dwell (vs. 17) – make room for what He has revealed to you
Paul prays that the Ephesians would have power so that, through faith, they would have the ability to make room in their hearts for Christ. The word dwell means "to make a dwelling place."
On one level, Christ comes to dwell in our hearts when we receive Him by faith. However, Paul is writing here to the church in Ephesus - to Christians. As Christians, are we making room in our hearts for God? Not just receiving Him as savior, but making Jesus Lord of our lives? In this sense, the issue is not IF Christ lives in you, but how COMFORTABLE is He in our hearts. Is Jesus Lord of your life? Have you confined Him to a single room or given him freedom within your heart?
Inviting a person to stay in your house overnight is different than adopting a family member. Jesus is not a houseguest but the head of your household. You can clean your house to "entertain" guests but you can't do that with family.
Robert Boyd Munger in his very interesting booklet, My Heart- Christ’s Home. He says about this verse, “Without question one of the most remarkable Christian doctrines is that Jesus Christ himself through the Holy Spirit will actually enter a heart, settle down and be at home there. Christ will live in any human heart that welcomes him.”
This booklet pictures the Christian life as a house, through which Jesus goes from room to room. In the library, which is the mind, Jesus finds trash and all sorts of worthless things, and proceeds to throw out and replace w/ His Word. In the dining room of appetite He finds many sinful desires listed on a worldly menu. But in the place of such things as prestige, materialism, and lust He puts humility, meekness, love, and all the other virtues for which believers are to hunger and thirst. He goes through the living room of fellowship, where He finds many worldly companions and activities, through the workshop, where only toys are being made, into the closet, where hidden sins are kept, and so on through the entire house. Only when He has cleaned every room and closet within us can He truly settle down and be at home.