Last night, I had this incredible opportunity that I just need to share with you. One of my good friends invited a group of her good friends over to her house for a night of prayer. She asked me to teach a bit on prayer to open the night, and then each of the ladies were ushered to different prayer stations to practice prayer—to boldly go before the throne of grace with confidence. (Hebrews 4:16)
I revisited a favorite passage of mine out of the book of Ephesians—two verses in particular that I’m incredible familiar with, yet God revealed to me some new truth from these age-old verses that lit my faith on fire and sent me running to my laptop to get these words out for all of you to read. Are you ready for it?
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
These two verses are the tail end of a powerful prayer that the Apostle Paul penned in his letter to the church in Ephesus, and these inspired words are just as much for us today as they were for them 2,000 years ago. For years now, I’ve claimed these verses as a foundation for my prayer life, and I’ve seen God move mountains. Still, as I taught from these verses for what seems like the hundredth time last night, something new struck me. And I want to share it with you.
#1—Our God is able.
If we are followers of Jesus Christ, then we pray to the One and Only God who is able. He is the God who can move any mountain that stands in front of us, no matter its size. Nothing is too big for our God. Nothing. However, I think we often approach God in prayer with more of a wishful thinking mentality, one that hopes He can move in our circumstance, but not an approach that is confident in HIs character. It’s more of an “if you can do anything” kind of prayer.
This is not faith, friends—not the kind of faith that says, “My God is able.” When we approach God in prayer, do we believe that He is who He says He is in His Word and that He can do what He says He can do? If not, then we are no more than the waves of James 1:6-7—the waves that are blown and tossed by the wind because our faith is overshadowed by our doubt. The God we pray to today is the God of the Old and New Testaments, the God who parted the Red Sea and raised the dead back to life. He is able, and our prayers should be a reflection of that belief!
#2—Prayer is far more about His glory than it will ever be about our requests.
Notice in Ephesians 3:21 where it says, “to Him be glory…” These final words wrap up a powerful prayer that Paul prayed for these Ephesian believers, and I couldn’t help but notice his emphasis on glorifying God in it. Prayer is about glorifying God for more than it will ever be about us presenting our requests to Him. Time spent on our knees seeking His face brings Him glory because it positions Him in His rightful place in our lives. Us bowed low, Him lifted high—this is what prayer is all about.
When we miss these two crucial elements of prayer, I believe we miss God’s heart for us in it. God is after a faith that would boldly proclaim in the face of uncertainty and difficulty: “My God is able.” God is after hearts that seek to glorify Him because He is the only One to whom glory is due. When we get ourselves in line with these truths, I believe our hearts begin to beat in accordance with His.