Coming in April – Lord, Teach Us To Pray, daily reflections on The Lord’s Prayer

Inspired Prayer: Day 16

“I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:19-20

Today we are scaling the heights of the Himalayas in prayer as Paul dares to ask that believers “may be filled with all the fullness of God.” You read Paul right! Be filled with even the fullness of God.

Paul’s prayer is like the ascending step of a staircase by which one petition leads upward to another and another. First, he prays that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, leading us on to being rooted and grounded in Christ’s love. Then, living in greater consciousness of God’s love, we are plunged into all the fullness of God. Nowhere does Scripture rise to such heights of spiritual passion as Paul does here. Has there ever been a bolder prayer than to be filled with all the fullness of God! What an encouragement for us as we pray!

In the Greek text, Paul’s petition literally reads, “filled UP TO (Greek: eis) all the fullness of God.” He is praying that we be filled right UP TO the fullness of God, with His infinity always before us. We shall be filling up through all eternity! It is like filling a teacup with the ocean, as more and more of the divine life is manifested in us. The great Athanasius says of God’s filling of us:

“Fragmented human beings are given integrity; changeable human beings are made stable; mortal human beings are made immortal; human beings subject to passions transcend their passions…being created after the image of God become evermore transparent images of God.”

(Peter J. Leithart, Athanasius)

Reformer John Calvin writes concerning this filling right up to God’s fullness: “The purpose of the Gospel [is] to make us sooner or later like God; indeed it is, so to speak, a kind of deification.” (John Calvin, Hebrews and First and Second Peter) This glorious prospect happens as, “The glory that belongs to Christ, the brilliant, blazing image of God, is become more and more our own.” (Rankin Wilbourne, Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God). This is promised to us because God has made believers “participants in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). How blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God!

O to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer;
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

– Thomas Chisholm


“For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” Athanasius


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