Thursday, April 17, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 118: Purposeful Strength

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 118, April 17, 2014
Readings: Psalm 118, Leviticus 24, Isaiah 30:18-33, Isaiah 31, Isaiah 32:1-20, Ephesians 3

When I'm faced with something difficult, or I know someone going through something difficult, I will often pray about it. But what is the content of my prayers? Usually that my problem would be solved, my worries would go away. That my physical needs would be met. That I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. That it would go away.

But what should my prayers look like?

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength 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, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

Paul isn't praying for his problems, or the Ephesian's problems, to be solved. He's not even praying that they would have the strength to bear the burden, or to love others, or anything related to them. No, Paul is praying that they would be filled with Christ, so that He can do the work in them. Paul knows that more important than everything else is the indwelling of Christ.

We are powerless, Christ is unlimited. What good is it to pray for someone to have strength when the strength comes from above? What good is it to pray for an outcome when God is able to do far more than we could dream of? Why should we limit our prayers to our feeble minds? God has everything at his disposal. God's plans are the best - why are we praying for our own?

I'm praying for trust and growth of Christ in me. I'm praying that I will become filled with Him, doing His work in the world. I'm praying for the work of the limitless God in my life - instead of praying for the limited me.

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