A Prayer for What I Need Most

O gracious God, Father of the Lord Jesus,

Through your Son’s words I hear you ask me “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41). This is my answer: I want Ephesians 3:16–19.

I want you to “strengthen me with power through [your] Spirit in [my] inner being” (verse 16). I need your power more than I need prosperity or popularity or peace in my family because I am so weak. 

I need more power because I long for more of Jesus to “dwell in my heart through faith” (verse 17). I know he dwells there now, but not enough of him. I want more of him. And I can only have that if your Spirit strengthens my heart to hold more of your Son through faith.

I need more of Jesus in me so that I will be “rooted and grounded in love” (verse 17). Your greatest commandment, Father (Matthew 22:37–39), your Son’s last commandment (John 15:12), and the greatest of the Spirit’s gifts (1 Corinthians 13:13) is love — for you and for others. I want more love. I need you to do whatever it takes to root out the pride and selfishness in me so that as a branch rooted and grounded in the Vine (John 15:5) I will bear much of the fruit of love (Galatians 5:22).

And I want you to do this in me because in the logic of Paul’s prayer I see that this rooting and grounding work of the Spirit is what will give me “strength to comprehend…the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (verses 18–19). The more grounded I am in your love, the greater my strength to comprehend your love in Christ.

Oh, I need strength to comprehend the unfathomable! I am so dull, narrow, shallow, distracted, and fragmented. I can scarcely feel gratitude for the blazing star on which my mortal life depends and is flooding my windowed office with such mercy. How much less am I giving you, the Source of my existence and salvation, the glory you deserve through my weak comprehension and small affections?

Give me strength, Father! I want to know the love of Christ! I want to know its soaring heights and its humble depths. I want to see its expanse stretching from one eternal horizon to the other. Though I cannot take it all in, there is so much more to see.

And the more I see, the more I will “be filled with all the fullness of God” (verse 19). That will be the heaven of Heaven, and what we can have of it here is heaven on earth. I don’t ask you for long earthly life. I ask you for full life — a life full of you. For if I’m filled with your fullness, Philippians 1:21 will be my song and Philippians 1:23 my desire.

That’s what I want you to do for me, Father. Enlighten the eyes of my heart (Ephesians 1:18) by your Spirit of wisdom and of revelation (Ephesians 1:17) so that I will know the unspeakable, almost unbearable joy of having you in all your triune fullness filling me.

And I ask you this in the name of Jesus, your Son, amen.