That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;Ephesians 3:16
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;Colossians 1:11
For the context we need to consider to “For this cause…” statements. One is in 3:1 and the other is in 3:14.
In Ephesians 1 and 2, Paul has written of the greatness of God in raising sinners to life by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
He has written of the unity of Jew and Gentile in the church, the body of Christ.
Moving into chapter 3 Paul reveals his personal call to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. He goes on to explain that one purpose of the church is to demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God.
So, based on those revelations Paul shares his prayer for the saints.
One aspect of that pray is found in verse 16, that believers would be strengthened! This is a prayer we ought to echo for one another.
Let’s break it down and see what we can learn and apply in our own prayer time.
That He would grant you…
Paul desires that He, the Father (verse 14), would grant strength to the saints.
God the Father
- the Father of the only-begotten Son (1:2-3)
- The Father of Glory (1:17)
- the Father to Whom we have access by the Spirit through the Son (2:18)
That which Paul requested and the believers needed could only be given. Never deserved. Never earned. Never owed. Only freely given. Paul understood that the strength the he and all believers needed could only be received as a gift.
…according to the riches of His glory…
Some have pointed out that he dispensing of God’s gifts to men are sometimes spoken of as being according to, not out of (Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 4:19).
What’s the difference? In my min it re-enforces that we draw from an unlimited supply. There is not a finite amount of strength, and each time some is given the overall amount declines or needs to be restored. Rather, from an infinite supply we can make infinite withdrawls.
God can do the miraculous at ease. He has done so through the ages. It is according to that infinite supply that we pray God would give strength to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
…to be strengthened with might…
God can make us strong. We need to be made strong. And so we pray for one another to have strength. The language here makes it clear that the strengthening comes from an outside source. We do not find the strength deep down inside, we receive the strength granted by God out of His infinite supply (Ephesians 1:19; 6:10; Colossians 1:11).
And what nature does this strength take? Might! Dunamis! Power! The word is often used with a sense of an influence over reality in a supernatural manner.
God the Spirit, Who indwells the believer, infuses us with strength. Strength to undertake the impossible as we battle in spiritual warfare.
This strengthening takes place in the inner man. In 2 Corinthians 4:14-18 Paul describes the strength of God which gives strength to renew us day by day.
God help us to pray for one another, that they may experience the strength that Paul prayed for the saints in Ephesus to know.