The Verse of the Day for June 6, 2016 is part of a powerful prayer that God inspired Paul to write for the “Saints at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus,” which would include all followers of the Lord Jesus, including you and me. The heart of the prayer is drawn from Ephesians 3: 17-19, but verses 14-16 introduce the prayer and verses 20-21 close out the prayer in this manner:
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man:
16 May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]?
17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,
18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];
19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and [e]become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—
21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).
In addition to this awesome expression of God’s desire for His people, we find a similar prayer in Ephesians 1:15-20, revealing Paul’s petition to God on behalf of fellow believers. In fact, the Church Epistles of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians and elsewhere in the New Testament provide a rich display of God’s intentions with regard to prayer. Such passages of Scripture can be used to construct what Graham Cooke calls “crafted prayers,” whereby believers use the Bible to construct specific targeted prayers that can be used individually or corporately. Cooke describes such prayers as being so designed that those who pray them will know the joy of always getting you prayers answered,
As We Pray
We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
as we pray always for you,
During these dark times, we focus on the Kingdom,
Established and grounded on a sure foundation.
As we diligently pursue Godly wisdom,
New paths of this Apostolic Reformation
Unfold as the sun rises on the horizon.
Even in turbulent times, we must stay the course.
Aware of consequences of each decision,
We look to God our Father, bountiful resource.
As we renew our minds, we are transformed and change:
With a “kingdom mindset” we now see with new eyes.
Beyond past narrow limits our view is long-range.
We number our days with each sunset and sunrise,
As the Word commands: pray without ceasing, night and day,
Knowing that God always fulfills his will, as we pray.
We close with a Scripture Song based on the prayer so lyrically and powerfully expressed in Ephesians 3:14-20: