God’s Mysterious Plan Revealed
1 When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles[a] . . . 2 assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. 3 As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. 4 As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. 5 God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets. 6 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.[b]
Father, help me to “enjoy the promise of blessings”. Help me to see and understand and rejoice in Your grace and all its benefits. I don’t really grasp why You would bless me, but perhaps that is the point. It isn’t me that matters, it is Jesus and his death and resurrection. Nothing I do really matters much past that. Help me to grasp the depth of You love and grace Holy Spirit. Fill me and enlighten me, and use me to bring someone else to You.
7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.
8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.
Father, use me to bring someone home. I don’t mean in some great way, I know I cannot take that much suffering. But please use me to spread Your good news to my family and friends. I know I don’t deserve that privilege, but even Paul sees it is by Your grace. I know that how I live now is certainly not a great example of being a great Christian, but perhaps it is an example of Your love and forgiveness. You are so great just to spend Your time with me. Change me and use me Father.
9 I was chosen to explain to everyone[c] this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.
10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 Because of Christ and our faith in him,[d] we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. 13 So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.
Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit, how could I ever come boldly and confidently into Your presence? It seems way too much for me to even come into Your presence at all. But Your Word is Your Word, who am I to argue? Obviously I don’t understand You and Your grace very well. “Because of Christ and our faith in him” – Please Holy Spirit, give me more faith. Open my heart to all You have done for me, us, and help my faith to grow so I can live in Your presence.
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[e] 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[f] 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Father, I pray this for myself and my family. Your Word cuts straight to the things that really matter. No prayer about “stuff” or fears or our little petty feelings. Your Word goes straight to the heart. If we have strength from Your Holy Spirit, along with all the things that this prayer continues with, the things outside the heart won’t matter or will fall into place.
Holy Spirit, give use inner strength from You. Keep us strong in Your love and Your righteousness. Give us strong faith to face our futures and to believe that because of Your love, our futures are bright. Inner strength from You. That is what we need .
17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
Jesus, please give me faith. Help me to trust in You, for I need You to dwell in me so bad. I need to you change me and work in me and to be alive in my family through me. I have been so weak and foolish. I need Your peace and wisdom and life. My family needs You so much. Please Lord, dwell in my heart forever more…and more…and more.
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
Father, it seems a strange thing that strength would be found in love, but I know it is true. When I remember how much You love me, enough to let Your own son die for me, I can face a harsh world so much better. Roots feed the plant and are the source of its life and strength. Your love is our true food and is what truly makes us bloom. Father, open my eyes and heart to Your love. Help me turn to Your love for strength instead of my own fortitude and instead of looking for encouraging words from people around me. Help me give Your love to strengthen others.
18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
Father, how can I grasp the enormity of Your love? But if I did, how would it change me? I would be stronger! Holy Spirit, somehow give me some understanding of Your love. Expand my heart and mind to grasp it, or at least appreciate how “ungraspable” it is. But do not stop there. Let that understanding change how I live and act and breathe.
19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Jesus, I need Your life and power so bad. I feel like I am not growing at all in You. I am so far from being “complete”. Please Lord, I know I don’t deserve it, but I need to experience Your love. Of course, it is Your love that makes any of this possible because I don’t deserve it! Jesus, give me a sorrow for my sin that is a sorrow from You that I may know Your love through Your mercy, and be truly changed. bring me and my family dear Lord, even more so my family, fullness of life through You. change us Lord. Change us.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit, show me this is true. When I think of how much I need to change, I think it is impossible. Yet You tell us You can accomplish infinitely more than we can ask or think. Please do that in me Lord. Where is that great change Lord? Give me faith to trust Your Word that You are working in me to change me.
- Ephesians 3:1 Paul resumes this thought in verse 14: “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father.”
- Ephesians 3:6 Or because they are united with Christ Jesus.
- Ephesians 3:9 Some manuscripts omit to everyone.
- Ephesians 3:12 Or Because of Christ’s faithfulness.
- Ephesians 3:14 Some manuscripts read the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Ephesians 3:15 Or from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.