by Norma Koehne
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And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power to grasp how wide and how long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:17b,18).
This amazing payer of love that Paul prayed for the Ephesians reminds me of a sermon I heard at Ukarumpa in Papua New Guinea. The text may even have been this one or possibly another prayer of Paul for those congregations he founded, which were so dear to him. What the preacher said was that so often, they were praying for ‘little’ things like recovery from sickness or safe travel. He then went on to unlock the ‘glorious riches’ that God wishes to shower on his children, and which we should be praying for ourselves and others.
First of all, Paul prays that we may be strengthened with power through his Spirit so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. Only the Spirit can create and sustain our faith in Christ and in the salvation he won for us. When Christ dwells in our hearts, then we are rooted and established in love. This love fills our hearts and flows out into our lives as we show God’s love to those around us.
Having received this power and love, we can begin to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. I could meditate on the love of Christ 24/7 and still not fully grasp the depth of this love. After all, he was abandoned by his loving Father for us, had the horrors of the sin of the world put onto him, went to the depths of hell, and then had to fight and defeat the archenemy Satan. What amazing love!
When we know this love, however dimly, Paul prays that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Again, what an amazing thought. All the love and blessings that God wants to give us will be given without stinting so that our cup will be full and overflowing, as the psalmist says.
Loving Father, fill us with your love and blessings and give us hearts that never forget the fullness of your amazing love. Amen.