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Prayers of Paul – Receiving Inner Strength – Pt. 6

Now, with great excitement, we are moving on to Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3. Like the prayer in Ephesians 1, it is a prayer that runs very deep. In fact, that is the focus on today’s little article: going deep; in particular, strengthening what Paul called the “inner man.” The inner man is the seat of our emotions and spiritual life. The potential of the inner man is for great joy or pain.

But first, let’s look at the beginning of the prayer, which should by no means overlooked.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” (Eph 3:14-16)

“For this reason” tells us we need to be aware of what Paul said in the previous verses. Paul laid out how God revealed the mystery of salvation, and how this mystery had been hidden for ages. Paul talked about the unveiling of that beautiful mystery. Knowing God’s mysteries as they relate to us will give us a deep inner strength. And that was the main thrust of Paul’s prayer.

Now, Paul said that this strengthening of the inner man was “according to the riches of His glory.” Talk about a loaded statement. His glory would be enough but it says the “riches” of His glory! Why is this important? What is the glory of God anyway? Let’s take a look at it in the Greek to get a better understanding.

doxa = “opinion, judgment, splendour, brightness.” As we can see the word has a variety of meanings. But I suppose we can say it can mean the “weight” of God Himself. It is the unveiling of the very essence of the living God to us mortals.

One of the first people in the Bible to experience God’s glory was Moses. In fact, his life was marked by the glory. When God first called to Moses it was through a burning bush.

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” (Exodus 3:1-3)

Moses experienced God’s glory while receiving the 10 commandments. Moses also asked the Lord “Please, show me Your glory.” (Exodus 33:18) As we know he got his prayer answered. And so will we! If he had the boldness to ask for God’s glory how much more can we?

“…to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.”

“To be strengthened” in the Greek is krataioō = “to strengthen, make strong.” It is found in the passive tense, meaning it is something received. This can be likened to the Ephesians 6 passage that says “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” (6:10) This is not a conjured up strength but a strength received.

One way we receive strength is to wait on the Lord. “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isa 40:31) Waiting on the Lord, if you will, is like a cellphone being charged. With a dead battery is is useless. It gets plugged in and waits to be charged. It does nothing but waits to be juiced up. The same holds true for us. We must learn to wait on the Lord.

I am reading the book The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Her father was a master watchmaker. He could repair almost any watch of his day. Corrie remarked that she often witnessed her dad asking the Lord for a solution to a unique repair problem. He would ask God how the repair should be made and then wait for the answer. So, waiting on the Lord is not a passive activity but rather active listening.

As I mentioned, the Greek word is strengthened krataioō. The root of that word is kratos. It is the word for power that means God’s governmental power. It is derived from a root kra–, “to perfect, to complete:” “creator” is probably connected. Furthermore, it also signifies “dominion.”

This strengthening is with “might.” It is the Greek word dynamis, meaning, “strength power, ability.” It is the explosive, supernatural power of God.

Therefore, according to riches of God’s glory, we are receiving the strength of God’s government. Along with that power comes the explosive, supernatural power of God. In the next article we will find out the purpose and direction of this power. It is leading us to a deep place of intimacy with Christ. It also leads us to knowing for ourselves the depths of His love.

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