By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;
Paul makes one simple request in this prayer. It is that believers may be strengthened in the inner person. This is what Paul desires for the Ephesian believers and all believers throughout all time. He asks that God may give to us a gift and this gift is one that is available to believers. It is based on an inexhaustible source; the riches of His glory.
In making this request (that He would grant you), (1) Paul calls on the unlimited resources of God; (2) He requests that believers might be made strong in the inner person; (3) He requests that the agent of this request be God Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. In the following verses, Paul will discuss the purpose and results associated with His prayer but for now we will look at the request itself. This is a prayer that is not only a prayer for the Ephesian believers but a timeless prayer as well; indeed, a prayer for us right now.
(1) This request is based on resources that are assured, (according to the riches (wealth) of His glory). This is the fifth time in Ephesians that Paul has referred to riches of God’s glory and grace that He showers upon us (1:7,18;2:7;3:8,18). They speak of the forgiveness of sins; of the fact that we are His inheritance; and His kindness toward us. Now Paul prays for something that he knows God wants to provide in our lives through the riches of His glory; that is the riches that are associated with the essential character of God which He delights to share with His children.
(2) He asks that we might be empowered through the power of the all-powerful One; that is the Holy Spirit, God Himself. You might remember that in 1:19 Paul used four different words for power as he spoke of the power of Christ in support of believers that is in accordance with the power of His power of His power. Now He uses two words for power (he includes one that was not used in 1:19) as he asks that God share His power with us through the means of the all-powerful Holy Spirit. Hoehner writes, “it is through the Holy Spirit that the believer is to be strengthened with God’s ability to act.”
(3) He asks that we might be empowered in the inner person. This is not physical strength but a deep inner strength that is provided for us in the deepest part of our being. As we receive Him through faith (2:8-9) we also trust Him enough to make Him at home in the deepest residence of our being. Hoehner writes, “It denotes the desire that Christ may literally ‘be at home in’, that is, at the very center of or deeply rooted in, believers’ lives. They are to let Christ become the dominating factor in their attitudes and conduct.” We have trusted Him for eternal life. Now He wants us to trust Him to be at home in the very center of our lives. He is a guest that can be trusted with all that we have.
For such a time as this; Paul’s request rings true for believers of any age and any moment. Right now, God is in the process of strengthening you and me with power in our inner person for such a time as this. The One from whom every family on earth originates knows us intimately and is able to provide exactly what we need for such a time as this.