Prayer for strength

1. Why Paul prays for strength

Eph 3:14   For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,

Eph 3:15  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

This verse connects the prayer of Paul to the previous section, where Paul made clear that the gospel was revealed and entrusted to him and then revealed and entrusted to the church to make it known. And because the cost of making Christ known is high, he bows his knees before the Father in prayer. Without prayer, we are useless vessels, polluted fountains, and salt that has lost its savour. There is a cross to bear in being a Christian, of knowing the gospel, of being saved. There is a narrow road to tread, self-denial to be practised, and Jesus to be followed, a reproach to bear, a glorious Christ to be proclaimed. Christ has called us to be witnesses of Him. He has saved us to serve. He has saved us to suffer. He has saved us to take up our crosses and to make Him known among our family members, our neighbours, our work colleagues and the nations. And when we do this, there will be opposition, difficulties and many problems. 

Paul prays for strength because he has experienced his own weakness. 

Paul prays for strength because he experienced tribulations and persecutions and insults, and imprisonment because of the gospel.  

Paul had realistic expectations. Our text says he bows the knees before the Father, from whom every family on earth is named in earth and heaven. The word for family could be translated as lineage or nation as well. This phrase means not that people from every family will be saved but that God the Father is the Creator of every family on earth and every nation. The Bible does say that people from every tribe and nation and Language group will be represented before the throne of God and be saved, none left out (See Revelation 5:9;7:9), but not that people from every family unit will be saved. Nevertheless, God is still the Creator of all human beings and, in that sense, the Father of all. 

Remember the mystery of the gospel? 

God has made Gentile and Jew one; He has brought peace between nations and between ethnic divides; He has broken the walls of hostility down through his own blood and made a new humanity, a new race in Christ. So, Paul, when he prays, has this in view that God is a global God, He is the God of the nations, of all the nations, and Jesus is the Savior of the world, not only of the Jews, He is not only the Jews Messiah, He is the Christ, the only Savior of all the nations. This is the mystery that we are co-heirs with Christ, united into one body, and we all have one Father. Christ has made us one. So, knowing this, Paul, in utmost humility, bows his knees. He humbles himself, knowing in himself he has no strength whatsoever. And he prays. For this reason, the mission before us, he prays.

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