5.16.23 | Ephesians 3:14-21


*In-person at 12 Bassett St, Providence RI

Prayer Guide

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work in us…”

Ephesians 3:20

There is nothing we could ask God for, which God could not do. There is nothing we could imagine that God could not do. The only limits on how God could answer our prayers reside in our own imagination.

And yet, why are we so rarely surprised by God’s answering of our prayers? Why does prayer often feel so boring to us? I was surprised after all by the machine learning of google’s algorithms which predicted the scripture verse I typed above even as I began typing the first three words. “Now to him,” I typed…and the computer finished each phrase until the entire verse of scripture was written out. We are shocked and surprised that machines are able to read and know all of human literature so that they can literally finish my sentences. But we are often so rarely surprised by God.

It is because our imaginations are limited. God can do more than we imagine…but if our imaginations are limited, so is what we will ask God for. The question we must ask then, in prayer, is how do we expand our imagination?

At a Christian fellowship at a local university, some students tried to take this verse seriously…asking God to expand their imagination. My friend Anthony got up in front of a white board with a marker and asked the students at the prayer meeting: “let’s think of people who in our heart of hearts we don’t ever think could become Christians.” The room began listing names out on the board until it was full. Then he read this verse. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think.” The room realized – we don’t pray for these names usually because we can’t imagine them entering the Kingdom. But the limit is not with God…it is with us. None of the disciples could have imagined Saul of Tarsus, the Darth Vader of the early Church, coming to faith and becoming an Apostle to the Gentiles. God had to expand their imagination. There is no one God cannot save or rescue. No one he cannot use. And if we can’t imagine it, our imaginations need to be stretched and strengthened.

There is likewise no place God can’t break through. Anthony asked the students to think about places on their campus where God couldn’t bring his Kingdom. Places that were so dark and so closed off that there was no hope for them. He began writing them on the board. And then he told the room – “he is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think.” And folks realized they needed to repent. The debate team. The Pride Club. The rugby team. The Greek system. None of these places were beyond God’s ability to move or save or redeem. The students began repenting for their lack of faith, prayer, and desire.

For Reflection/Prayer 

Where does your imagination need to be stretched this morning. If it is true that God is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all you ask or imagine, where does your imagination need to be stretched? Where does your asking need to be stretched? Perhaps God wants to move in power but is waiting for you and me to ask him for it! 

This morning, stretch your faith by thinking of the people and places that in your heart of hearts you believe are beyond God’s power to save, redeem, or break through with his Kingdom. And REPENT!!! And begin asking God to move there, knowing that your prayers are only a hint of what He is able to do.