Ephesians 3:17b-19, “… 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”

What is the best thing you can do for someone? With all the needs and desires people have, what is the greatest service you can perform on their behalf? There is nothing more essential than praying for people. In the middle of his efforts to help the Ephesians understand the gospel, Paul breaks into a heartfelt, eager prayer for them.

In Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul picks up where he left off in Ephesians 3:1 and continues his teaching on the astounding work of the Lord Jesus in unifying all people under the authority of the Lord Jesus. When Paul ponders God’s worldwide work of redemption, he is inspired to bow his knees in humble adoration and worship of God (Ephesians 3:14). The work of Christ’s redemption demonstrates that every family on earth finds its identity in God the Creator.

This posture of humility before God leads to prayer which is an expression of our dependence on the Lord. Paul’s preaching turns to prayer in recognition that only the Lord God can bring genuine heart transformation in the lives of the Ephesians. Any ministry not grounded in prayer will have a shaky foundation and will lack any lasting significance.

Paul’s prayer is for inner strength that comes through the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16). As the indwelling Holy Spirit works in the inner man, he mediates the presence of Christ. Although Christ dwells in all Christians, as our faith grows, His presence becomes more evident to us as well as to others. And this presence always shows itself in our being ever more “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17). Paul’s desire for Christians is to understand the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love of God by pointing us to the incomprehensible magnitude of his benevolence towards sinners. Our love for God increases in direct proportion to our understanding of his love for us. We love him because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Prayer turns to praise as Paul contemplates the depth of the love of God for His people in Christ alone. This praise results in glory being ascribed to God in the Church, which is the place on earth where God is to be most glorified.