I am going to be transparent with you. Vulnerable. Honest. Open.
Confession: I often lay on the floor of my closet and watch infomercials... for hours.
I know that its a ridiculous waste of time but that laundry didn’t really need to be hung up, did it? It could be the stream of commercials boasting of the latest technologies and fitness aids - (or it could be due to the fact that I contently spent an entire evening on the floor of my closet) - but I usually find myself wishing I could snap my fingers and suddenly be fit. No matter how hard I wish, this method to become stronger has not seemed to work for me yet. Eventually I have to turn off my phone, get off the floor and go for a miserable run.
If I want to be fit, I have do something about it.
I have to work for it. I have to earn it.
Supernatural strength is different.
There is not a gym membership that can help you achieve spiritual endurance or might. At least not the type of strength Paul is praying over the church in Ephesus.
Ephesians 3:16b, “...He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being...”
The word used “to strengthen” in this verse is only used 4 times in the entire New Testament.
1) Luke 1:80 - John the Baptist was strengthened.
2) Luke 2:40 - Jesus was strengthened.
3) 1 Cor. 16:13 - Christians need to be strengthened.
4) Ephesians 3:16 - The Church needs to be strengthened.
The word used in these passages is “κραταιόω” which means “to strengthen” - and this is noteworthy because it is written in the passive form. It specifies a level of power that cannot be gained; a power that must be gifted. Paul is praying for a kind of strength that must be poured into us directly from the Lord Himself. He is asking the Lord to infuse the Ephesians with strength.
When you pray over your children they receive an infusion of strength.
When you pray for your marriage, you are asking for the Lord to infuse it with power.
When we pray it strengthens us.
When we pray for others it strengthens them.
When we pray it is like we are adding an infusion of strength to whom (or over what) we are praying.
These infusions are not of an ordinary strength. These infusions of might are from the same power that we receive when the Holy Spirit comes upon us (Acts 1:8). It is dynamite. It is miraculous. It is much stronger than any power we know in our natural world. This is the Spirit of God at work! He is living in us, guiding us - making us strong.
One thing I love about this image is that super strength doesn’t go to the biceps; it goes to the spirit. It goes to the core - to the innermost part of their being. You cannot see the strength only the effects of it at work. Paul does not pray for the appearance of the Ephesians, he prays for their spirit. We have to understand that the battle is spiritual (Ephesians 6:12). Our fight is not with that person; it’s with the enemy who is working behind that person.
If our spirit is weak, then we are weak. It doesn’t matter how many marathons we can run or how many pounds we can bench press. If our spirit is weak, then we are weak. If our spirit is strong, then we are strong. Again, this shows off the generosity of God. This power is not one that we have to chase down and beg for, it is being placed inside of us.
When we pray, a broken world that is full of fallen people becomes infused with strength from its perfect Creator.
Director of Student Ministries