The Ladder of Prayer
Ephesians 3:14-21
For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,…

1. You see that the prayer begins with the gracious petition that we may be strengthened — "strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, according to the riches of His glory"; the object being, that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. Before the Lord can dwell in us we must be strengthened — mentally and spiritually strengthened. To entertain the high and holy one — to receive into our soul the indwelling Christ — it is necessary that the temple be strengthened, that there be more power put into every pillar and into every stone of the edifice. It is taken for granted that we have already been washed and cleansed, and so made fit for Christ to come and dwell within us. But we need also to be strengthened; for, unless we become stronger in all spiritual life, how is Christ to dwell in our hearts by faith? Unless we become stronger in love, and in all the graces of the Spirit, how can we worthily entertain such a guest as the Lord Jesus? Ay, and we even need that our spiritual perception should be strengthened, that we may be able to know Him when He does come and dwell in us. We must be strengthened into stability of mind, that so Christ may dwell, abide, reside in our hearts by faith.

2. Now, having stood on the first step of the ladder, Paul goes on to pray that, when we are strengthened, we may be inhabited: that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. When the house is ready to receive Him, and strong enough for such a wondrous inhabitant, may Jesus come, not to look about Him as He did when He went into the temple, but to abide with us — to "dwell in our hearts by faith."

3. This third step is a broad one, and it has three parts to it.

(1) Its first part is establishment — "That ye, being rooted and grounded in love." When you are strengthened, and when Jesus dwells in your heart, then you are no longer "carried about with every wind of doctrine," but you are rooted, like a cedar in Lebanon which receives but recks not of the stormy wind.

(2) Side by side with this very blessed establishment in the faith, for which I would bow my knee, as Paul did for the Ephesians, that you may all have it, comes a comprehension of Divine love. How anxiously do I desire your firm settlement in the truth, for this is an age which needs rooted and grounded saints. Side by side with that, however, we would have you receive this further blessing, namely, a comprehension of the love of Christ: "that ye may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the arithmetician makes calculations and arrives at clear ideas. As a mechanic cubes a quantity and takes its length, and depth, and height, so may the Lord Jesus Christ's love be to you no more an airy dream, but a substantial fact, about which you know distinctly, being taught of the living God by the Holy Spirit.

(3) Acquaintance.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

WEB: For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

The Great Mystery of the Love of Christ
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