Day 4 in 31 Days of Journeying with the “Jesus Prayer”
Lord Jesus Christ, merciful and loving Savior, make me ever mindful of your constant, gracious, empowering Presence and your heart of tender affection toward me.
Back when I began penning my personal version of the “Jesus Prayer,” I searched for a passage of Scripture that would reflect and reinforce the truths I wanted to contemplate. I ended up in Ephesians 3, with Paul’s description of Jesus’ incredible love and power. It seemed to be the perfect fit.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
For a few days, I worked at memorizing the passage. Then I let it slip from my consciousness.
Of late, though, as I’ve leaned into my “Jesus Prayer” in the midst of both mundane moments and higher-stress situations, Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians has re-surged in its significance, and the truths expressed in his words have begun to seep into my soul in newer, more palpable ways.
When a task seems particularly daunting, I’m reminded that Christ’s power is at work within me.
When I want to give in to sloth (yes, I believe I’m an Enneagram 9), I’m reminded that His power in me is far greater than the magnetic pull of my chair or the lure of Netflix and its captivating drama.
When I’m tempted to compare myself with others or to doubt my significance before God, I’m reminded that his love is wider, longer, higher, and deeper than I can ever imagine—and I ask for a greater awareness of this incomprehensible force.
When I’m uncertain how to love, or even whether I can truly love, I’m reminded that Christ’s immense affection can flow through me to others.
Jesus’ love and power. What gifts—gifts as yet still largely unexplored by me.
But it’s a journey.