ORDINARYmoments: Strengthen your inner man

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I came across a little prayer with the title, “A Morning Prayer for Help”. It goes like this, “Morning Lord, so far today I’ve done alright, I haven’t gossiped, lost my temper, been nasty or selfish. But in a few minutes God, I’m going to get out of bed and from then on, I’m going to need all the help I can get.” Of course this is only for a laugh but my dear brothers and sisters, really how’s your prayer life? How can we pray wider and deeper and more effectively than the above prayer? Apostle Paul’s prayers are models for us to pray for others and for ourselves. We can divide the prayer in Ephesians 3:16-21 into two major points.

A. The first request is that we need to pray for our inner man to be strong (v.16)
There are different translations and wordings of “inner man”, like inner self or inner being. It literally refers to the man inside. It refers to the new life when we believe in Christ. But this life can be weak and small due to circumstances and sins. When this inner man is weak, we cannot grow into spiritual maturity or overcome hardship in life.

What’s the result of strengthening our inner man? That Christ may dwell in our heart through faith (v. 17). This “dwell” also can be translated as “home”. It means Christ is at home in our heart, in our life. Christ cannot feel at home if we only surrender one part of our life to Him, it needs to be our whole being. The whole inner man in all his corners is to be filled, and to come under the influence of this power of Jesus.

B. The second request is that we may be able to understand the incomprehensible love of Christ. (v.18)
This needs to be done with a foundation that is rooted and established in love. Christ’s love is incomparable, incomprehensible and surpasses all knowledge. How do we know such love? The tangible way to understand Jesus’ love is by looking up at the cross and seeing our Saviour hanging there to die for our sins, the sinless for the sinful. His love is wide and long, his love is high and deep, like the two dimensions of the cross. The measurements that Paul gives emphasize the immensity of Christ’s love. Someone once said, “You can go left or right, forward or backward, or up or down as far as you can, and you still haven’t explored all that there is to know of Christ’s great love. “

The final result is that we will be filled to the measure of the fullness of God. As many Bible scholars have said, this is the epitome or climax of all prayer. You can’t go any higher! It is a prayer for our complete spiritual maturity. Can you imagine what life could be like when we are filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? What else do we need? What else can we ask for?

by Winnie Chan, Lay Preacher of Wesley Methodist Church, Sibu
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