For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:14-21
Do you pray big prayers? Ole Hallesby in his book, Prayer, writes about prayer as an act of utter dependance on God. Such utter dependance is expressed, he says, in prayers that we pray that have no way of being answered unless God actually hears and acts on that request. That’s quite an insight. Prayers that can be answered over the normal course of time do not express an utter dependance on God.
I’m think I understand his point, but I’m not sure I agree outright with his statement. I do agree, however, that prayer truly ought to be an expression of our utter and desperate need for God’s help. Prayer is an admission of our need for God’s help. Prayer honors God because we are acknowledging God’s goodness and his grace by asking him for his help and intervention in our lives.
Paul’s prayer for the people of Ephesus is a prayer that decidedly requires God’s help. The things he asks for cannot be attained over the course of time without God’s help. He asks for enlightened eyes. He petitions God for the ability to comprehend things that are incomprehensible. He prays that they be filled with the fullness of God. These things are all impossible to attain in the normal course of life. Only with God’s help can they be realized.
- Perhaps we should begin asking God for big things.
- God, provide a speedy end to this COVID-19 virus outbreak
- Father, let things return to normalcy now.
- Jesus, heal those who are sick.
- Holy Spirit turn our governmental officials’ hearts toward the good of the country as a whole.
- Father, unite all your children as one – even as you and Jesus are one.
Perhaps you can provide your own list of big prayers. Maybe a loved-one is far from God and you pray for his return. Perhaps a daughter is strung out on drugs and you pray for an intervention and end to her addiction. Could be you need a job in these challenging times. You might be facing a grave illness. There may be a need for renewed energy to engage in the course of daily life.
The problem with big prayers resides with us. God can handle any request. We cannot order God around – tobesure. But we can ask for big things, confident of his goodness and wisdom and love that tempers every answer he gives.
And when he answers we discover that God does do superabundantly more than all we ask or imagine. To him be the glory, now and forever!