The Impossible Prayer

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How deep is God’s love in you? Is it filling you up? Do you believe that God can fill you up so full with his love that you can cope with impossible situations? The Apostle Paul tells us that we have a God big enough to handle our impossibilities. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he prayed for their spiritual growth.

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:16-19

Let’s look at three parts of this prayer in these verses.
1.     “You may have the power to understand”
2.    “You may experience the love of Christ”
3.    “You will be made complete with the fullness of God”

Notice the prayer is for the power to understand God’s love. God’s love is total, says Paul. It reaches every corner of our experience. Paul uses dimensions to describe the vastness of God’s love. Haven’t you told someone, “I love you this much!” as you’ve spread your arms as wide as you could? There is no bigger width than that. “I love you to the moon and back” is a big love.
·         God’s love is wide – it covers the entire width of our experience.
·         God’s love is long – it continues the length of our lives.
·         It is high – it rises to the heights of our celebration and mountain top experiences.
·         His love is deep – it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even death.
We can never be lost to God’s love. Paul is saying that the love of Christ is eternal; it's infinite. It's without beginning or end. It cannot be measured or contained. This big love of God fills us up and makes us complete. It is awesome and humbling to think that this big God who spreads the width, length, height, and depth of all creation through all time and into eternity can fill ME up!

Paul is praying for some impossible things:

  • ·         to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge. Can you know something that passes knowledge?
  • ·         to comprehend the height, depth, width, breadth of something that has no beginning or end
  • ·         to be filled with all the fullness of God. Can you be filled with something that is so full you can’t even comprehend it? Can you be filled with an omnipresent, omniscient, all knowing God?

Have you ever thought of praying for the impossible? How does your prayer life compare to Paul's? Paul prays for the impossible here. What do you pray for? Are you routine prayers? Bless my day. Give me safety today. Thank you for the food. Protect me while I sleep. These are good and important prayers but Paul is asking us to pray impossible prayers. Can we pray the big prayer Paul wants us to pray? Can we pray to know the way God knows? Can we pray to love like God loves? Can we pray to be filled up every day with God? Can we pray the impossible prayer?

What is impossible for you to do? Think about that for a few minutes. What are the things that you believe you cannot do that perhaps God wants you to do?

What is impossible for you? To pray for your enemies? To love the unlovely? To study God’s Word? To make changes in a relationship? To set boundaries? To get ahold of your health? To right a wrong?

We all have different impossibilities. Can you trust God with your impossibilities?
When we tell ourselves we are in an impossible situation we can remember what Jesus told his disciples.

 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26

Give God your impossibilities today.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My granddaughter Stella loves to play with blocks. We work together to build tall houses and towers. Sometimes we don’t have the blocks lined up properly on the base and they crumble. So we start over and try to set a firm foundation before we add the blocks on top of each other.

Some of us are like the blocks. When we don’t get properly lined up with the base, our faith in Christ, we begin to crumble.

Stella also loves playing with Legos. When we build a house with Legos, we are careful to fit the pieces together perfectly. We want them to connect evenly and create snug fit. When we line up the Lego pieces carefully attaching one to another, we can really build a very steady house.

Some of us are like that with Christ. We have a snug fit. We align ourselves really well to the first piece, the base piece, the cornerstone.

What is the role of a cornerstone for a building?
The cornerstone, the foundation stone, is the first stone set in the construction of a foundation. This is important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone. This stone determines the position of the entire structure.  If the cornerstone is defective in anyway, if the line is off by a tiny angle, the whole building will be wrong.

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Ephesians 2:20 & 21

What does this mean to us if Christ is the cornerstone? EVERYTHING flows from the cornerstone. He is the beginning. He is our reference point. He determines our position.  Verse 21 says we are carefully joined together in him. We are fitted together with him and we form a holy temple as we fit together with Christ.

Paul wanted to encourage the church at Ephesus to be one in Christ and to look to him as their foundation, their leader. There were issues, factions, and differences among the members in the Early Church that could tear them apart. Paul is reminding them to come together at the cornerstone. When we are fit together with the cornerstone, we turn to God with our issues and our differences.

Where is your fit to the cornerstone? When we are snug against the cornerstone, our thoughts become his thoughts, our emotions become his emotions, our words become his words, and our actions become his actions. We live in our strengths and in our purpose. We seek to be like him. We become one with Christ.

The more disconnected we are to the cornerstone, the more our world is wobbly. When we aren’t snugged up to the cornerstone, we have a harder time living in our strengths.

Remember the story Jesus told about the wise man building his house upon the rock.  It endured the storms of life.  What happened to the foolish man who built on a foundation of sand?  His house crumbled.
Our goal is to attach ourselves firmly to the cornerstone so that we can endure the storms of life.

Hillsong Church song “Cornerstone” reminds us that Christ alone is our cornerstone and we are made strong in his love.

Christ alone
Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour's love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

Let’s fit snuggly to the cornerstone and get strong in Him!

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