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sending power, strength and love your way

Greetings! It has been said 'there is nothing new under the sun'... actually, Solomon said it in Ecclesiastes, but I do not think that is wholly true. I make new discoveries, as do you; so to you and me, those things are in fact, new. That is one of the beautiful things about Scripture too. While we had the entire Bible printed in English since 1611, new translations have meant greater understanding--new truths for the reader, greater illumination to God's ways for us to think about him, life, and ourselves and how to grow in the intertwining of the three as we make our way in this world, eternal beings longing for home. Over the years, I have read a lot on the matter of prayer. I have written quite a bit on prayer too, including a little book called "Hello, God. It's Me." But I have spent hours pouring over something today that I have found a mystery - perhaps you can help me with it. [I read, prayed, studied, listened and dug some more to gain greater insight into the matter yesterday in particular, cancelling my afternoon to do so. Intrigued, challenged, I am . . . read on] But first, as we forge ahead in Ephesians chapter 3, Paul picks up his prayer again. By the way, have you ever thought that perhaps beloved Paul had Attention Deficit Disorder? He starts out (in vs. 1) with "For this reason ..." about to pray for the believers he loved so much in the town of Ephesus. But then, he seems to see a squirrel and diverts to remind them again that Jesus came for Gentiles as well as Jews and that as a matter of fact, it was to the latter he was sent! Oh, my. Down in verse 14, he says "For this reason ..." again and then truly prays. And boy, does he pray! God, please open the eyes of our hearts and minds that we might comprehend the magnitude of these verses and their implication for ourselves. Paul writes: "For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God." Step a little closer please. Paul is fervently asking God for 4 things for his Christian friends . . . well, let's personalize it and make it about you. After all, praying Scripture back to God is a powerful way to pray! I am asking the Father to grant 1 - that you would be strengthened with power through the Spirit in your inner self 2 - so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith 3 - so that you will be rooted and grounded in love, able to comprehend the all-encompassing love of Christ 4 - that you may be filled to all the fullness of God Wow. Regularly I am asked to pray for people, usually folks in need of some kind of healing in their lives--marriages, relationships, addictions, illnesses, etc. But all of those things will pass away . . . they are temporary conditions that challenge us today, right? Whereas this prayer of Paul's has to do with strengthening our inner selves - invoking Father, Son/Christ and Holy Spirit - citing the powerful love of Christ, which is beyond any knowledge we might posses... so that we may be filled to all the fullness of God. What do you think Paul meant by 'being filled to all the fullness of God'? I do not know about you, but I do not want any less than all of it! Sound off, will you? How does this prayer of Paul's inform your thinking about prayer? Does it change how and what you pray for yourself and for others? Madhava, Seena, Eric, Mike, what do you think is meant that we might be filled to all the fullness of God? And how do we get filled with all the fullness of God? Hit 'reply' please. Pray. Wrestle. Study. for it is a worthwhile endeavor. This is my new twist on the subject of prayer for sure--that those I love, those who ask me to pray and me, too--might be filled to all the fullness of God! Amen. Let's Go Down to the River to Pray, sending power, strength and love your way, Christine

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