“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” Ephesians 3:16
This verse is a sample of Paul’s profound and loving prayer for the Ephesian saints. It is encouraging and instructive for us. First, the fact that Paul is praying. He was in prison miles away from the believers in Ephesus, yet he did not consider praying fervently for them as a waste of time and effort. The mighty God is always everywhere! Through prayer, we can minister in God’s kingdom even if we ourselves are not present with those for whom we pray.
Second, Paul appeals in his prayer to the riches of God’s glory. Ephesians is full of the immense glory of God’s grace, mercy and love. As a believer reads Ephesians, he finds out that he is extraordinarily affluent in the spiritual blessings God has granted. One might think, “If I have already received so much from God, I shouldn’t ask for more.” Certainly, a thankful spirit is always to be cultivated and prayers that are sinfully self-focused should be avoided. Yet, the abundance of God’s grace should remind us that He is motivated to give good gifts to His children. Furthermore, Paul prayed to a God whom he recognized was not poor, but wealthy in grace. Do you pray like that? “Lord, give me a fervent love for you. Enlarge my heart in obedience. Give me a strength beyond what is my own. Pour out your love and grace on others abundantly.”
Finally, we note here that Paul asked for the strengthening power of the Holy Spirit in the Ephesian saints. This reminds us that the Christian faith is truly supernatural. The only way any one truly comes to faith in Christ and then endures in that faith is through the power of the Holy Spirit. No believer or church can be sustained through its own resources. Yes, we need strength to to keep trusting God, to keep obeying, to keep loving, to keep denying our sins, and to keep enduring in paths of righteousness. God is pleased to magnify His power in giving it to those who know themselves to weak and needy. What a blessing to pray to a wealthy God!