This Changes Everything – Promise and Prayer
I know, you’ve heard it before. You may be eager or cynical when you hear words like: this changes everything. I approach words like this with great caution. But I am overwhelmed when I think about a few words that Paul wrote to the Ephesians. Nearly every follower of Jesus has heard them. But have you really heard what it says?
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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 (NIV)
I am growing in my understanding of this scripture and it is changing my prayer life. It is also changing my expectations. As you read this, I am confident that your prayer life and expectations and maybe even your outlook will begin changing as well.
The first words that strike me are “immeasurably more.” God is able to do this. This strengthens the faith, doesn’t it? When we know that God is not limited that ought to do something to our confidence and outlook.
Our heads accept this truth about God, but does it grip our hearts? God is unlimited. His power is unbounded. He can do so much more that he has already done! Do we have the faith to believe it?
But immeasurably more than we ask or imagine takes us into the realm of prayer. What have you asked God for? It may be too small or insignificant. He is able to do it easily. How is your imagination? I have a pretty good imagination. Sometimes I let my imagination run wild. Do you? While we can’t live by our imagination it’s healthy to nurture it. What do you imagine God doing? What do you dare to ask for?
When I think that God can do immeasurably more than I imagine, I cannot comprehend it. I need to break this down a little. There are four categories of knowledge:
- What we know we know. We all have a body of knowledge stored up in us. We’ve learned and experienced many things that we can be certain of.
- What we think we know. There are things we know that perhaps we don’t really know at all. Often our opinions and convictions are not based on reality or fact. Our imagination is pretty active in this area.
- What we know we don’t know. We can list many things in this category: quantum physics leaps to mind – and what little I have read on this, I am convinced a lot of physicists don’t know about it either!
- What we don’t know we don’t know. Often when we learn something new, it comes from this realm of reality. Here’s where God is really at work. He is orchestrating things in these realms. He is establishing events in our future or bringing people into our lives.
So far, the truth of this scripture is overwhelming. It is encouraging and our faith is being built up. But now come the words that truly change everything: according to his power that is at work within us.
God wants to do immeasurably more in us and through us! He has ordained us to be the agents of his power and glory. We not only are to represent the kingdom but to do the supernatural work of the kingdom!
Let that sink in!
The power of God – infinite, immeasurable, transformational – is at work within us!
That also means the immeasurably more is not about getting rich or super comfortable or having no pain or sorrow in our lives. It’s about what God wants to do through our lives.
It works this way because we are the body of Christ. When we think about what Jesus did when he was on earth, we must accept the reality that he is still present on earth through his church. All that he did continues through the church – healing, raising the dead, casting out demons, transformational teaching. He told us that we would do all he did, and more (John 14:12)! Do you believe it or not?
Everything written in these two verses leaves me speechless! How about you? This passage calls for a response.
Here’s what you should do
Pray. Ask God to help you understand what he is saying and how it applies to your life. Open your ears to hear what he wants to do and then ask for the courage and understanding to do it! I hope this changes how you pray.
Expand. Grow your faith and your expectations as you pray and as you work in the kingdom.
Continue. Don’t let go of this scripture. I keep coming back to it and wondering what comes next. I confess that I probably fall short of asking for enough in prayer. But I will keep on trying to do the next great thing.
If this has encouraged your faith, pass it on, share it on social media – and you, too, can make a difference in someone’s life. Perhaps, in sharing this article, God is about to do the immeasurably more!