ephesians, prayer for spiritual strength

It’s the middle of chapter three in Ephesians and Paul is still penning words from prison.

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 surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled with the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17b-19.

Be strengthened by the Spirit and rooted in love, Christ’s love. Paul doesn’t just say Christ’s got love for us. No, no, that’s too small. Paul describes Christ’s love.

Wide.
Long.
High.
Deep.

Last summer, one of my husband’s close friends visited, and we tossed the Colorado native in the car and drove to the ocean. It was the first time our landlocked friend witnessed the Atlantic.

Instantly, he realized photographs and TV can’t capture the magnitude of the sea, the watery beast extended to the edge of the horizon and filled the world with blue.

Overwhelmed, our friend stood silenced by the great waters.

Words failed when he tried to describe the water so massive, strong, and seemingly unending.

Plus, what about the life teeming under the surface?

Our friend, a science guy, picked up shells and studied tiny pieces which whispered parts of an underwater story. Even with all the technology accessible to us, even with dives and oceanographers and underwater explorations, much of the ocean goes undiscovered.

The ocean, like God’s love, is wide and long and deep and high.

Paul wanted the Ephesians to catch a glimpse at the paralyzing magnitude of God’s love, and so he prayed God would strengthen them with the power of his Spirit.

Paul longed for the Ephesians to feel about God’s love as our friend felt about the ocean: speechless and stunned at the miracle before them.