“This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that God has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. I pray, therefore, that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory. For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father…”
If there is ever a Prayer Hall of Fame, I want to nominate George Muller for it. He was a Prussian immigrant in England troubled by the homeless orphans he saw on Bristol streets. Muller’s daily discipline was to read the Bible on his knees, ready, he said, to turn God’s promises into prayer. He wanted people to know that there really is a God ready to hear and to answer prayer. And God did answer Muller’s prayers, such that he housed, fed, and educated over 10,000 orphans, without ever telling anyone but God about their needs. On his knees, Muller prayed in the equivalent of millions of dollars for the orphans.
Praying God’s promises on his knees reminds me of Paul on his knees in today’s scripture: “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father…” The customary posture of prayer was to stand with hands stretched heavenward. But the intensity of Paul’s prayer drives him to his knees, wanting to claim for his readers all that God has promised.
On his knees, “before the Father”, Paul is assured of his “access with boldness and confidence” through faith in Christ. The essence of Biblical faith is confidently and joyfully coming to Abba Father without forgetting His holiness and glory. We know we have a tender and compassionate Father longing for us to long for Him and to grow into fullness He has destined for us.
Note the “reason” for Paul’s bold prayer is his knowledge of God’s purpose for His children set forth earlier in his letter: “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father.” Paul knows he has very good “reason” to offer up such a bold prayer for discouraged readers and claim for them God’s provision of “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). So, he will ask big! Paul will ask for them the best of all blessings, “spiritual blessings.” He will ask for readers to be strengthened in their inner person, to know more and more of Christ’s surpassing love for them, and be filled with all the fullness of God. No little prayers here!
THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
“It’s the best way to read the Bible, as prayer.” Peter Kreeft