Read: Ephesians 3:14-17 NLT
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
Often we read a verse, or in this, case a prayer that was written in a letter to a particular people without ever thinking about the people or the letter itself. I mean, if I am writing a letter or an email, I do it with a purpose for the person or people who I am writing to. We all do this and I doubt that we are much different in that respect from the guy who wrote this letter, Paul. Paul is writing a letter to a community living in a hotbed of Satanic and occult practice. That alone changes the whole way I should think about this prayer. If Paul was going to reach these people he had to see spiritual breakthrough, just like you and I need to see walls torn down and lives set free around us, but he was up against a huge spiritual stronghold in this town of Ephesus. That is why his prayers there should give us insight into how we should pray for circumstances and people who we know are in bondage or need a breakthrough.
First, he goes to a place of strength, he bows his knees, yes humility. Over and over we see this is a key to spiritual battle, humility. Getting positioned in a place of strength is crucial if we are to battle hell effectively and humility does just that, it gets us into the heart of the Father. He then enthrones his Father in praise calling Him, “the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.” Then, and only then, does he go after the resources he needs to attack the enemies lies in the lives of those in Ephesus. Positioning and praise are Paul’s beachhead to unleash the power of God onto the people of Ephesus and so should they be ours. Understanding how to connect with the heart of the Father is so crucial to effective spiritual warfare. The Holy Spirit alone knows how we should proceed. He holds the plans that will set people free.
Paul declares that God has unlimited power to build us and to set us free from the inside out, power that flows through His Spirit into our lives. He asks for that power to be unleashed on these people’s lives knowing if that took place Satan’s foothold would be loosed and Jesus could, as Paul prayed, “make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
Paul prayed that God would make His home in their hearts. The word Paul used for home, katoikeō, is two Greek words combined. Kata, which is a preposition, that in this case means down, and Oikeo or Oikos, which means house or to inhabit or dwell in. Paul is praying for God to drill down deep into their lives and establish His life in them so powerfully that they would be able to resist the devil and boldly share their faith.
Father, I pray for faith to believe and pray with the authority of Paul. That you would use me to establish your Kingdom in the hearts of many people who today are enslaved by the enemy.