Together in Christ: 'Unlimited Resources' — Ephesians 3:16-17

Monday, September 16, 2024

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I pray that from [Father's] glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
— Ephesians 3:16-17 NLT

Key Thought

Imagine someone praying this prayer for you! What a blessing that would be for any of us.

Paul appears to be using Jesus' promises to His followers in John 14 to be his prayer guide. [1] He prays about all three members of the God-head — Father, Spirit, and Christ — making His home in us, bringing us inner strength, and having the roots of our faith grow and find their soil in the experience of God's love. Wow!

What Paul prayed for the Ephesians is what Jesus promised us before His Passion. As He talked to His closest followers, the Lord promised to send the Holy Spirit as our Comforter — our Advocate, Counselor, and Helper [2] — from God. The Holy Spirit's presence ensures that the Father and Son will also make God's home inside us:

"I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
. . .
"If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.
. . .
"...I will not abandon you as orphans — I will come to you.
. . .
"Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.
. . .
"All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them."
 [3]

I had never noticed the close parallel between Jesus' promises in John 14:12-23 and Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. Paul's famous closing to the Ephesian prayer reflects how Jesus began His promises to us. [4] Then, the emphasis on all three members of the God-head living in us, empowering us, making God's home with us, filling us with love, and bringing glory to God all parallel each other. While we would love for someone to pray this prayer for us, We can pray it for each other. When we pray Paul's prayer for others, we can be confident that it is the will of the Lord Jesus for them since He promised all of this for us. So, dear friend in Jesus, remember that one of the most wonderful blessings you have to bless those you love is the power to pray with certainty that God in all of His fullness will live in them, empower them, fill them with love, and enable them to honor God in all of His glory! So, let's pray all of this prayer of Paul for those we love in Christ Jesus! *

[1] The promises of Jesus in John 14:12-23 are remarkably paralleled in Paul's prayer in Ephesians 4:14-21.
[2] The Greek word — παράκλητον — cannot adequately be captured by one English word. See John 14:15-16.
[3] John 14:12-14, 15-16, 18, 21, 23.
[4] Compare John 14:12-13 with Ephesians 3:20-21.

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, I pray this for [Please insert the names of those for whom you want to pray!]:

When I think [that I can come confidently and boldly into God's presence in prayer], I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
 
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
 *
* Ephesians 3:14-21. The bracket replacing the pronoun "of this" comes directly from Ephesians 3:12.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 14:12-23
  • 2 Timothy 1:8-10

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Illustration

Illustration of Ephesians 3:16-17 NLT — I pray that from [Father's] glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.