In the Wednesday afternoon worship service of the 39th General Assembly, Chris Piehl noted three components of the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus as recorded in Ephesians 3:14-19. Piehl serves as Pastor of Students and Families for Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo., the host church for the Assembly.
“Paul prays for God’s power for them, for Christ to dwell in their hearts, and for them to experience God’s fullness,” Piehl said.
Regarding the prayer for God’s power for the church, Piehl said that it was not physical strength that Paul was praying for them, but rather it was for their spiritual being.
“They needed the strength of someone who could step into the brokenness and aloneness they were experiencing in their lives,” he said. “My question for you is this: Are you struggling with loneliness? Uncertainty? Doubt? Fatigue? Then this prayer is for you.”
Concerning the prayer for Christ to “dwell in their hearts,” Piehl said the word Paul uses is “that Christ would dwell deeply in their lives—that Christ would be the master of their house with full and complete control of them,” he said. “Do you desire that Christ might dwell deeply in your heart? Do you desire to chase after him with everything you have?”
Finally, Piehl explained the portion of the prayer in which Paul prayer for the Ephesian church to experience God’s fullness.
“Paul is saying that to be full of the fullness of God is to understand this vast, unmeasured, deep, deep love of Jesus,” he said. “That is what Paul is praying for his church. My question for you is: If you are honest, would you say your love has grown cold or maybe callous? Do you long to comprehend the love of Christ for you and those you serve? Do you desire to be filled with this love?”
Piehl also noted that Paul’s prayer is based on the work that Christ has already accomplished. “So Paul can pray this prayer with confidence, knowing that it will be fulfilled because it has already been fulfilled in Christ,” he concluded.