We may think that reading the Bible and prayer are two separate and distinct practices. What if they are not?
What if they are woven tightly together? What if it is in the world of the Bible that we find the imagination and the language to pray? What if it is in the practice of prayer that God shows us himself in the Bible?
There’s an old saying that more is caught than taught. In other words, when trying to teach someone, showing them is more effective than telling them.
Yesterday, we looked at one way that Paul prayed for Ephesians. And in praying for them, he was showing them (and us by extension) how we might pray for one another. He does it again at the end of chapter 3.
Here is a passage where, if true, has profound implications for us and our life together.
…being rooted and established in love…
In Galatians, Paul talked about fruits. Here he talks about roots. A plant doesn’t produce fruit without roots, and roots in the right places, at that. The quality of soil determines the health of a plant and the quality of its fruit. Bad soil makes an unhealthy plant.
So Paul encourages us to put our roots in the love of Christ, that place of self sacrifice, that foundational, defining quality of God’s character. That is our source of life. Not God’s justice. Not God’s glory. Not God’s sovereignty.
The love of the Father.
And so we pray for one another’s roots.
In A Long Obedience In the Same Direction, pastor Eugene Peterson writes, “It is this fusion of God speaking to us (Scripture) and our speaking to him (prayer) that the Holy Spirit uses to form the life of Christ in us.”
Take some time with verses 14–19. Go slowly. Absorb the words, the phrases, the prepositions. Who can you pray this for today?