“I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit…”
— Ephesians 3:16, NRSV
Do you ever find yourself groping for words when it comes to expressing our hearts to God on behalf of those we love – our kids as parents, our students as teachers, our congregation as pastors? How about our friends, co-workers, or international workers?
Aside from any specific needs of which we may be aware, if you are like me we seem to run out shortly after asking for God’s blessing (whatever that may mean), His watchful care, and protection. God has preserved so many wonderful prayers in Scripture that we can borrow and pray back to the Lord. Among several, the one that I pray for our kids and grandkids more than most is Paul’s prayer found in Ephesians 3:14-21 by inserting their name into the prayer.
I encourage you to try using the prayers of Scripture on behalf of whoever is on your heart today. Simply insert their name as you pray the following:
I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that _____________ may be strengthened in his/her inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in ________’s heart through faith, as ________ is being rooted and grounded in love.
I pray that ________ may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that ________ may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Now watch God work in answer to your prayer!
1. How can the components of this prayer relate to the current context of the one you are praying for?
2. How can this prayer lead me to pray more specifically and practically for their life or situation?
Rev. William (Bill) R. McAlpine, PhD is a professor of Practical Theology at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta.