The prayers of Paul...
Along with the Psalms they are one of the great aids in prayer. When my brain seizes and I'm stuck repeating the same words over and over, like a small child, who can only say, "Bless Mama, Daddy, brother, sister..." there are these creative and comprehensive prayers which dot his epistles to the churches he'd planted, visited and discipled. To think that every letter is marinated in prayer. Beginning, middle and end, absolutely drenched in it. This is Paul's approach to discipleship, encouragement, exhortation and chastisement. Prayer.
And we have them, We get to pray them for those who are in the fiery furnaces of life, for those who are newly born in Him and those who are so close to home-going the light of heaven is blinking in their eyes. And every stage between, these magnificent prayers are ours for the praying.
So this day, I offer this one--one of my favorites (though I have to admit that if you've ever sat in a Bible study, retreat or class I've taught, you're probably rolling your eyes at the word 'favorite' because I say that about sooo many texts in scripture. But I can't help it. And I mean it!):
"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled of all the fulled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3: 14-19
Really, what else is there to pray for someone? God's gifts to us, as Paul prays, are His power and His love. Do we get it? Even as we're rooted in love, there's more to get about it, more to grasp. He loves us as wide as the outstretched Cross, as long as He has been, as wide as the universe and as high as heaven itself. And He will--by the power IN us--flood us with comprehension that He loves us even more than this. And fills us even more than this. To the FULL MEASURE OF ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD.
So this rainy Friday afternoon, I pray this for you who read this, and pray that you pray it for those in your own sphere on influence.
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, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3: 20-21