4.11.23 | Ephesians 3:14-21


*In-person at 12 Bassett St, Providence RI

Prayer Guide

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] 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 Lord’s holy people, 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.

Ephesians 3:14-21

Paul has just finished spending the past two and a half chapters of his general epistle to the Ephesians talking about who we are in Christ. In chapter 1, he points out we are blessed with every spiritual blessing, adoption, forgiveness, inheritance, the Spirit, etc.. In chapter 2, he points out that we are saved by grace and raised up and seated with Christ. The dividing wall of hostility between Jew and Gentiles has been removed in Jesus and we who were aliens and strangers have become members of God’s house. 

One of the primary challenges that concerns Paul as he writes to and prays for the Ephesians is that we who have been included in Christ do not fully understand who we are. It was true in Ephesus and it is still true today. We do not understand what it means that he has loved us and adopted us. That we are heirs to the glorious riches of God, and that everything he has is ours. All this is true and so often, we don’t know it. 

One of my favorite old school Disney movies is the Lion King. Simba (who is the true King) runs away from home and forgets who he is…and because of this, the entire ecosystem goes out of whack. Rafiki the monkey has to come find him and provoke him with a series of questions. Who are you? Ultimately, Simba sees a vision of his dead father, Mufasa…who reminds him that he is, first and foremost, the son of a King…and therefore, he is called to rule and bring restoration to his realm. It is only when he grasps his identity as a child of the King that he begins to live like a child of the King. 

If we are to rule and reign with Jesus, we have to understand who we are. Before Paul goes on in Ephesians to spend several chapters talking about the question of “how then, shall we live?” he pauses to pray for them, that they would know and understand God’s love for them.

Over the next weeks, we will spend time praying Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians. But for now…a few prompts to pray. 

For Prayer:

  • Pray for a deeper understanding and revelation of God’s love to ground your identity.
  • Pray for the church in our city and region to have a revelation of our identity and status as God’s loved, adopted children that informs how we live our lives.