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 holy 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 to the measure of all the fullness of God. 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 throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV)

On Monday I was doing Day 1 of QB’s (Queensland Baptist) ‘One Prayer Devotion’ based on Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus. The author noted that Paul prayed this extraordinary prayer while he was imprisoned, not while he was in the middle of a great move of God. He was in the valley, not at the mountaintop. The reason being he knew God is ‘able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power at work within us…’. Paul knew ‘what God wanted to do in and through his people, so he prayed in faith. You may not be seeing God do much in your life. That must not stop you from praying along with Paul. This is a prayer you can pray in every circumstance’

It is interesting that Paul kneeled as he prayed this faith-filled, big prayer as the ‘normal prayer posture for Jewish men was standing with arms raised’. The author makes the point that the reason for this ‘was this prayer called for a different posture. Paul was earnest and determined…His posture indicated seriousness and desperation of his prayer’.

Paul, with his posture was not in any way attempting to twist God’s arms to make him do something. Rather, he was ‘praying to the Father (3:14), who cares deeply for his children who bear his image. He was echoing what the Father loves to do; to fill his kids and pour out his love on them’.

The author concludes his devotion with a challenge. ‘This is a magnificent prayer…may Paul’s passion and confidence infect your prayer life and grow your expectation of what Jesus wants to do in and through you. May you experience the grace of your Father, who works in ways beyond your wildest dreams. If you are serious about this, perhaps a good place to start would be on your knees, praying this passage through once again’.

I was in my pyjamas, snuggled up in bed when I was doing the devotion. By the end of it, I was so stirred in my heart I got out of bed and got on my knees and prayed Paul’s prayer, slowly and thoughtfully, crying out to God to work more deeply in me and through me, for his honour and glory. It could be my imagination but for a brief moment, I felt God’s presence!

I encourage you to get on your knees and pray Paul’s big prayer. Why not? Afterall, our God is a big God!

Christ in us, the hope of glory!