If you want an interesting study of the New Testament, go through the various books and pick out the prayers or the things for which people are said to be praying. Quite often, the focus of our prayer is on health, safety, families, etc. We are admonished to cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), but the requests found most frequently in the Bible are for things like grace to grasp the great benefits that we already have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Case in point is the passage below in Paul’s prayer for enlightenment, wisdom and knowledge of three great benefits – hope, riches, and power. Note: You may want to read the following a couple of times.
Ephesians 1:15-21 (ESV) For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Let’s focus on the benefit of power.
Ephesians 1:19-20 (ESV) and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
Don’t miss this. The greatness of the power of God that has been at work in us in the very fact that we believe is the same power that was present at the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s no wonder Paul considered the power of the Gospel as dynamite! The Holy Spirit prepares the one who brings the message and the one to whom the message is directed, and POW – a person believes as a demonstration of the power of God.
Romans 1:16 (ESV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
That resurrection power as seen when the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead is demonstrated when God raises each one of us who were dead in our sinful state.
Ephesians 2:1-7 (ESV) And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Now that is power!
What does that mean to us? Whatever we are called upon to face, do, or endure we have that same power at work in us and through us today. When a person claims they are struggling to overcome a sin, find it difficult to make changes, or overcome in the midst of trying circumstances – go back to the resurrection. Paul’s prayer for enlightenment is that we might comprehend the greatness of the power that is ours in the Lord Jesus Christ.
How would your life be different if you took time to just think about God’s power which has been at work in your life? How would things be different today if you kept that glimpse of His marvelous power in mind throughout the day?
The power is yours by God’s unmerited favor upon you. It’s not just any power or power that is stirred up by you or even something you earn. It’s a benefit of God’s grace, a flow from the immense love that He has for you.
Here’s another prayer:
Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV) For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength 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, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
If you want confidence in God’s great power, focus upon and pray with a desire to know the fullness of God’s great love for you. The result is being filled with the fullness of God and a confidence that there is nothing His great power cannot accomplish.
Now that is power.