Eph 3:20-21 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
When we pray, do we have the view of God that Paul did here? Paul has just asked some marvelous things of God for the sake of the church in upholding the cause of Christ. He has asked for miraculous strength through the Spirit (v. 16). He has prayed for the in-dwelling of Christ in our hearts and for us to be firmly established in His love (v. 17). He has asked that we be granted fellowship with all the saints in laying hold on the vastness of Jesus’ love (v. 18). Even though it is vast, he has prayed for us to know it (while recognizing it is impossible for us to quantify) to the end that we might be filled with the fulness of God (v.19).
Paul’s experience with (and confidence in) God now shines through in verse 20. He has not lifted up a long petition, and he has not prayed for anything that would bring glory to himself. He has not inserted any thought of man’s ability to affect the outcome of his request. There has been no bargain struck, as we sometimes try to do when we pray: “Lord, if you will do as I have asked, then I will do…”
This prayer is closed by recognizing Him who has the authority to grant our petition; now unto Him. We cannot ask more of Him than He is able to give. With Him, it is not only possible for Him to grant what we ask, but He can do so much more. We sometimes limit our prayers to what we think He might be willing to do. Sometimes we refrain from praying because we are concerned that we are “bothering” Him. We lose sight of His word to us in Isaiah 62:6-7 when He tells us to “keep not silence, And give Him no rest.” He gives us the instruction to pray without ceasing!
He is able to go far above and beyond our requests and our inward desires. It is accomplished according to the miraculous force of the Holy Spirit that works in us. We do not do the work alone; He does not leave us to our own devices. He does not put something in us and then wait to see what we will do with it. He, by His miraculous force, works in us! The glory belongs to Him.
It should be our desire and expectation that He be very apparent (see Strong’s definition of glory) in the church. We should pray diligently for Him to be very apparent in the church. When He is very apparent, we are revived! Again, we see the very specific channel by which our prayers are answered and through which His glory is seen in the church; Jesus Christ! There is no other avenue by which these things have ever come, are present now, or ever will come (throughout all ages). There is no end to our God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) or to His ability to keep us (world without end). According to His holy will (Mat 6:10), so be it (amen).
May we come to Him without fear of asking too much, and by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, pray believing and without ceasing!