22300.033 Paul’s Prayer: To Know the Love of Christ

Day 33

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14–19) 

What a prayer! Paul knows the One to whom he prays; he feels the Trinity’s passion to share God’s life of love with us. 

Paul bows his knees to the Father and these words gush out. He knows that the answer will flow out of the riches of God’s goodness. So he asks that the Spirit strengthen us. From deep inside, the Spirit works to reveal truth and give us understanding. 

Growing to know Christ is like a dancing with a lead partner. God leads and we follow. Like a willing dance partner, we don’t know what the next step might be but, by faith, we follow His promptings. We trust in what we do not see and move in sync with Him. As we do this the dance that is eternal life unfolds before us. 

We express the faith God gives by trusting the Faithful One. We trust that He is who He says He is and we trust that we are who He says we are. By faith we welcome Him to dwell in our hearts and know that we are His born-again children. The dance that is eternal life begins and continues by faith; we trust in His goodness—that He will not fail to lead us in lovingkindness. 

God wants each and every one of us to know the fullness of life in fellowship with Him. But we can’t know it unless we believe. Expressing the faith God gives—following His lead—is a choice. We have free will. We don’t have to let Him be our lead partner. 

God’s love is the firm foundation for our life in Christ. His love is the soil into which our roots sink deep. We are established—we are “rooted and grounded”—in love. 

But our knowing God and His love doesn’t stop there. Love is like an ocean. You can stand on the shore, wade in the waves or swim out beyond the breakers and experience its beginning, but you can’t know its end. 

God’s love is stronger than we can think or imagine. It is endlessly powerful and good. It doesn’t follow the rules of our world. The love of Christ gives without thought of getting. It doesn’t love because; it loves in spite of. It exceeds any definition words can express. Our minds cannot grasp it … but still you were created to comprehend it in deeply soul-satisfying, relational ways. 

“The love of Christ which passes knowledge” has expression in the width, length, depth and height of the cross. Width and length—the stretching wide of Jesus’ arms on the cross to encompass the expanse of the world. Depth—the descent of Jesus leaving heaven, becoming a man and taking our sins with Him to the grave. Height—the ascent of Jesus to the Father where we are seated with Him in heavenly places. 

Such love exceeds factual knowledge, but it is here for you and me to know in personal relationship. Experiencing the extravagance of Jesus’ love for us allows us to know the extravagance of the life He has secured for us. Progressively coming to know the riches of Jesus’ love changes you into the image of the One who created you … until you come to be “filled with all the fullness of God.” 

Every bit of Paul’s prayer is God’s desire for you today. 

Ponder for a Moment 

Read Paul’s prayer again as if you personally are the one Paul is praying for. 

Read Paul’s prayer again, this time making it your prayer for someone you know.