“To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:21
When you pray, what does it sound like? Are you more interested in the challenges your day holds or knowing the author of the day? Are your prayers more about what you want, or who God is? Consider these things as we read this verse.
Today’s verse comes to us as the concluding thought of a longer prayer. The apostle Paul prays that his hearers would be strengthened by the power of the Spirit, that Christ would dwell in their hearts, that they would comprehend the vastness of the love of Jesus and be filled with all the fullness of God. There is a common thread running all the way through this prayer. Do you see it? From first to last, Paul prays that we would see God. There is a total absence of personalized wants, wishes, or desires.
If you are anything like me this should feel at least a bit convicting. So much of the time, my prayers are characterized by requests for God to give me what I want and make me more effective to do things for him. Here Paul is calling us to see God as the object of our prayers instead of the means by which we get what we want or think we need. He knows he is praying to “him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
We were made to know God and seek who we are in him more deeply than any other source of identity. As we pour out our hearts in prayer they should reflect this reality. We should desire to know God more deeply than any other desire. As this happens our hearts reflect this verse: to “the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.” How would your day look if you sought the glory of Jesus first and foremost in all you do?
Tim Smith is the lead pastor at Mars Hill Portland.