Take time to mediate on God’s word and prepare for worship this Sunday. And as you meditate on them, consider the Question of the Week: What are my “loaves and fish”? What are the humble gifts I could place in Jesus’ hands this week to satisfy the hunger of my own family and friends, of others who, until I share, are strangers to me?
Ephesians 3: 15-20
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
What a prayer that this week’s reading from Ephesians gives us! It presents a moment of tenderness, in which the author speaks directly to his readers about his care for them. He speaks of his prayer for his readers, which he does on bended knee.
Essentially there are four matters for which the author prays for the sake of his readers that they may have:
- inner spiritual strength
- the indwelling of Christ in their hearts
- the ability to comprehend all the dimensions of spiritual realities
- knowledge of the love of Christ
This prayer is for the church and all believers. Not just one person. Can this prayer be one that you pray each day for your fellow Christians, especially your Brothers and Sisters at All Souls? YES – we also should pray for the unsaved and those that don’t know Christ. But as we strengthen the church and one another it will give us more opportunities to reach others – so its important to pray for one another.
First, there is the matter of being strengthened (Ephesians 3:16). For most of us, we are strengthened and sustained by the witness of the company of believers with whom we worship. We are also strengthened by those who have gone before us – giving us scripture, songs, and witness which we celebrate during our worship time together.
Second, it is the indwelling of Christ in the hearts of the congregation where love is produced (Ephesians 3:17). Christ cannot be simply a concept or a memory. The risen and living Christ comes to us in Word and Sacrament, and he seeks to find hearts in which to dwell. Where he is, there is love. We invite this each week at All Souls.
Third, it is in our life together as Christians that we find ever new vistas and insights into the vast world of God (Ephesians 3:18). If we have time to listen to one another, we discover stories of faith beyond our own. In conversations with others, listening to their prayers, and observing acts of kindness and generosity, we gain understandings of God and the world that we have not known before.
Finally, to know the love of Christ surpasses all other forms of our knowing (Ephesians 3:19). That is not to say that knowing other things is irrelevant for the Christian life. On the contrary, to know all we can about our world is important for living well. But to know the love of Christ is not something we can find out there “in the world.” Rather, it has been revealed to us by God, who sent his Son into the world. We celebrate that love whenever we gather for worship.
As you use the pray request list each day or week to pray for the specific needs of others; maybe add this prayer as well!