I recommend you print these out and keep near your devotional material, they are very powerful and crucial for more of the Holy Spirit in your life and also powerful to be prayed for others and for churches and cities. They are what we pray at IHOP-KC. Paul’s prayers were inspired by the Holy Spirit for churches, i.e. they are what the Holy Spirit make happen in every church, and every believer.. so they are guaranteed to be answered. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (Eph 1:3). These blessings are our inheritance, and neccessary for the fullness of life in God, in our journey to becoming more Christlike.
Remember, In prayer, we focus our mind on God in two ways: on the Father sitting on His Throne (Rev. 4) and on the Spirit who lives in our spirit. We walk in the Spirit to the degree we talk to the Him (Gal 5:16).
I’ll start this post with two that are are so key, so critical:
Prayer to receive the Spirit’s power that Jesus’ Presence be manifest in us so we experience God’s love.
According to the riches of Your glory, strengthen me with might through Your Spirit in my inner man, That Christ may dwell (manifest His presence) in my heart through faith; root me and ground me in Your love for me, that I may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; so I can be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:16-19).
Here are some notes from Ihop on this prayer that I have edited and added to:
- This is a description of the heights of glory that God invites us to experience in this life. This life vision requires a lifestyle that is most demanding but most rewarding. It is a lifestyle that has prioritized God as life’s highest reward, and sees that being heavenly minded will accomplish the most earthly good (Col 3:2, Rom 8:6). The higher a mountain climber ascends the more difficult it becomes yet it becomes more rewarding at each new height. We need all that God will give us spiritually.
- Paul presents a 4-fold progression of how we grow in the Spirit. Each time he uses the word ‘that’ highlights a different stages of growth. This prayer provides us with a biblical pattern for pursuing the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10-12). It is in itself a theological statement of how to cultivate intimacy with God.
Stage #1: Praying regularly with expectancy for the Father to strengthen you with might in the innerman. We use God’s strength to sustain righteous choices in our pursuit of 100-fold obedience (in all areas including finances, time, speech, eyes) which is required for all who desire to experience more.
Stage #2: Jesus’ initial activity in our hearts (mind/emotions) to prepares us to experience more. Being rooted and grounded in His love is sweet and powerful, experiencing His manifest presence sustains us through life’s trials, so we can count it all joy.
Stage #3: New ability to comprehend (experience) Jesus, roots us and grounds us in Him, more. When exhilarated in God’s love, we feel no need to seek our greatness in being successful in man’s eyes. We find success, identity and satisfaction in the ocean of God’s love.
Stage #4: fulfilling God’s purpose in each season of our life in this age and the age-to-come.
- This prayer is based on Jesus’ promise to visit those who seek 100-fold obedience (Matt 13 1-12). 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father (experience God’s love), and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…23 If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (Jn. 14:21-23)
STAGE ONE We pray to be strengthened with might in our innerman. That is where we experience God. He lives in our innermost man, but we experience Him in the inner man. (Some bibles translate the greek to be innerman or belly everytime) We will receive the Holy Spirit’s strength to the measure that we ask for it (Mt. 7:7).
- Strengthen our mind with understanding of God’s love
- Strengthen our heart with feelings of love (from God, for God, self, others)
- Strengthen our will with inspiration to be resolved to voluntarily choose obedience. Paul prayed that the saints be strengthened with perseverance to follow through in obedience…strengthened with all might…for all patience (perseverance)… (Col. 1:11) Jesus urged His disciples to pray to receive strength to overcome temptation (Luk 22:40).
17 THAT Christ may dwell in your hearts (mind, emotions, will) through faith (confidence); that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend… the love of Christ. (Eph. 3:17-19)
- Jesus dwelling in our hearts speaks of Him being active in us our heart (mind, emotions and will). Jesus is formed in us as He manifests His presence in us as we grow in the Holy Spirit. My children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you… (Gal. 4:19) We (the Father and Son) will come to him and make Our home with him. (Jn. 14:23) Abide in Me, and I in you…5 He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears fruit… (Jn. 15:4-5) I stand at the door…If anyone…opens the door, I will come in to him… (Rev. 3:20)
That you…18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints (available to all) what is the width and length and depth and height (inexhaustible ocean) — 19 to know (experiential intimacy) the love (affection) of Christ which passes knowledge (requires supernatural help)… (Eph. 3:17-19)
To comprehend God’s love or emotions requires that our spiritual capacity be supernaturally enlarged to enable us to experience more of God. It takes God to experience God’s depths of love. Paul is echoing David’s prayer that the saints be exhilarated by God’s affections. The river of God’s pleasure is the river of God’s affection which brings pleasure to the human spirit.
You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. (Ps. 36:8)
- This unusual measure of God’s love “passes knowledge”. In other words, it requires supernatural aid to experience it. Thus, we must be prepared by the Holy Spirit who escorts us up this glorious mountain of God’s pleasure. The Holy Spirit will pour out God’s love in our hearts (Rom. 5:5).
- The width speaks of His manifold provision for any person (Jew and Gentile) or situation in this life. The length speaks of reaching far beyond our sin and continuing forever. The depth of love points to the depths that Jesus descended to pay the price that we might be His Bride (Phil. 2:6-9). The heights of love speak of the measure of exaltation that we receive in His grace.
We do not base our experience on feeling, but they do enhance our experience of Jesus. God is glorified in us when we are exhilarated with Him (His emotions, wisdom and power).
- The experience of God’s affection makes us ravenously hungry for more. We go hard after God’s heart to experience more of His affection. Holy diligence is not an attempt to earn us God’s love, but positions us to experience more of it.
STAGE FOUR: the fullness of God’s blessing in each season of life.
19 THAT you may be filled with all the fullness of God (our earthly destiny). (Eph. 3:19)
- God’s full destiny for our life can only be released in those who receive strength (v.16) to sustain their voluntarily choices to obey God in follow through. This prepares us to experience more of Jesus’ presence in our hearts because we are rooted and grounded in confidence in God’s love.
- Experiencing God’s fullness requires a radical pursuit of God
- The paradox in the Church is that many talk about the love of God while being content to not press into it to actually experience its power. In a spiritual culture of compromise, some are falsely comforted by references to God’s love without understanding the glorious reality of it.
- We were created to delight in the feeling of being loved by God. Our spirit craves this. God desires to release this to us. We are too often content with a Christianity that is devoid of feeling, or a Christianity that is mostly an intellectual exercise and not a heart experience. He wants our hearts ravished because His heart is ravished. He feels such intense feelings towards us and desires that we have intense feelings for Him.
- Christianity is an invitation to relationship with supernatural strength touching our inner man (heart). Many Christians are content to live without experiencing God’s power at the heart level. This passage builds confidence in the process to have a heart alive with power and is within reach for all. Eph. 3 is a theological statement of how to cultivate passion for Jesus and intimacy with God.
- People are only too busy until we are persuaded that the high vision in God is real. Believers in college, the marketplace, serving children at home or in ministry are too busy to seek Christ in this way until they have confidence that is for them and is attainable. Then we find time.
- We were created to love not just receive it. We were created to be passionate. In other words, to give ourselves away in love. We will never come to the full pleasure of our human experience without receiving the power to fully give ourselves to God and others in love. It actually requires the power of God. I love to pray prayers like “annoint my heart to love you.” He answers them.
Prayer for revelation of Jesus’ beauty that we might walk in our calling and destiny by God’s power:
Father of glory, I ask for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 enlighten the eyes of my understanding; that I may receive revelation of the hope of His calling (assurance/clarity of God’s call for my life) and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (our destiny as Jesus’ inheritance), and the exceeding greatness of His power (Eph. 1:17-19)