That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16, KJV)
Paul’s second prayer recorded for the Ephesians is full of astonishing mysteries for us. It is a prayer I will encourage you to understand and pray it out for yourself and others. He prays that God will grant that the Ephesians be strengthened with might( or power) by the Holy Spirit in their inner man. What a power-loaded phrase! Let us briefly look at each of these words.
He prays for strength. When many of us hear of power, we think of miracles, healings, casting out demons, etc. That is only one of the ways God’s power manifests in us. Paul was not asking for the Ephesians to be empowered to perform miracles in this specific prayer. He prayed for strength, the inner capacity to be and do. For example, it takes strength to believe or be joyful. It takes strength to love or to keep your cool in the midst of trouble. These are psychological capacities. You will remember I often write about this. Just many Christians do not find the power to live the Christian life. They need strength. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would be firmly established in the faith, grounded and unshakable.
He continued and stated that it is the Holy Spirit that strengthens then. This is remarkable. He did not ask that the Ephesians receive the Holy Spirit, because He was already in them. He was not asking for them to be “baptized” in the Spirit, for the Ephesian Church had already experienced the baptism of the Spirit. He prayed that the Holy Spirit will strengthen them. This strength was not an automatic occurrence with salvation or receiving the Spirit otherwise, he would not be praying for it. I have discussed this extensively before, during our live Bible studies and prior devotionals, the mystery of the human spirit and the soul. It is not power in your spirit that you experience or manifest. It is power that has filled your soul, your earthly life here and now. You have already received the Holy Spirit and He is in your spirit, with all the power and wisdom of God. However, you know as well as I do, that we are not all experiencing or manifesting that power. Until that power becomes “palpable”, meaning taking over your earthly life(soul), you will not benefit from it. The Holy Spirit in your spirit gradually fills and takes over your earthly life( soul) as He fills you repeatedly with dunamis(power) and grows strength in your heart.
God wants to strengthen you, in your inner man( the heart). He wants to infuse strength to be firm in the faith, believe the Word, resist temptation, maintain joy, love people, etc.
Do you have a part to play in this strengthening process or God will answer this prayer by supernaturally empowering you instantly? What do you think we need to do to put ourselves in the place where the Spirit can build strength in us?
APPLY THE WORD
First, make this a prayer point for your life. Secondly, put yourself in a place of cooperation with the Spirit. There are three primary modalities He uses to build this strength in us: the Word, fellowship with Him in prayer and fellowship with other believers. If you have ever asked yourself why you might be spiritually weak, I have just shown you what you need to do to allow the Spirit charge your inner man with dynamis.
Take this moment to pray the prayer of Eph. 3:16 to the Father right now.