I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through the Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.
Some of us may have had the experience as children of responding to an invitation in Sunday School or church to “pray to let Jesus come into your heart.” In fact we may have responded to many such invitations, sometimes out of uncertainty about whether or not earlier responses had “counted” and sometimes out of a genuine longing for something more in our relationship with God.
But according to this text from Ephesians, the Spirit has to make us ready to receive the indwelling of love, the indwelling of Christ. And this being made ready to “know this love that surpasses knowledge” is an ongoing process.
The author of this text from Ephesians prays for those who are followers of Christ to be “strengthened with power through the Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts.” What is being described here is an ongoing process of being strengthened and transformed.
The text refers to the process of being empowered by the Spirit in our inner being. And to the process of being “rooted and established in love”. These transformational processes can make us people capable of experiencing the love of Christ which is so “wide and long and high and deep” that it is beyond our grasp. These processes are part of the on-going richness of encounters with the love and grace of God.
The more we encounter grace, the more we are rooted in love. The more we are strengthened in our inner being by a growing trust in the love of Christ, the more our hearts and spirits are made tender and open to the deep and abiding presence of Christ with us and in us.
Our spirits are joined by the Spirit of God and we are filled full of God, filled full with love. This is the meaning of Christ dwelling in our hearts. It is radical, humbling, glorious.
Prayer is asking that God would do this work in us. That God would make us ready to receive the love of Christ. That God would establish us in love. That God would allow us to grow in our experience of the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge. That our hearts and spirits would be opened and enlarged to know more and more deeply the presence of Christ with us and in us.
in my inner being,
establish me in love,
allow me to know your love
your love that is beyond measure,
that my heart might be made tender
by your love,
that my spirit would be opened
to know your presence in me.
Live in me today.
Pray the prayer found in the Ephesians text for yourself, using your own words. Pray this prayer for others in your life.