A Prayer For The Downhearted Christian
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A Prayer For The Downhearted Christian

Ephesians 3:16-20.

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A Prayer For The Downhearted Christian
Jeanne DiMaggio

A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling pretty stressed out and down about myself. My boyfriend suggested I take some "me" time, and he let me borrow his hammock and a book and left me alone for a while. I opened Spotify and kept playing Jason Gray's "Remind Me Who I Am" on repeat. The words "Tell me once again, who I am to You, that I belong to You" were something that I desperately needed to sink into my soul. But I was still feeling a little restless, no matter how many Christian songs I listened to. So I started flipping through Scripture passages, googling "verses about God's love," and looking up "passages about self-consciousness"—things like that. And I don't exactly remember how, but I stumbled upon Ephesians 3, which has a section that is marked in NIV Bibles as "A Prayer for the Ephesians" (verses 14-20). This is what it says:

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 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."

I thought, "What if I replace the 'you' in Paul's sentences with 'me' and the 'He' with 'Your'?" Then I prayed, "I pray that out of Your glorious riches You may strengthen me with power through Your spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith." The phrase that I kept repeating over and over was "I pray that I may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge." To know this love that surpasses knowledge. God loves me more than I could ever comprehend. As humans, our understanding of everything in this world is finite. Even Socrates, who is regarded as one of the world's greatest philosophers, said, "I know that I know nothing." So if even one of the greatest thinkers of all time proclaims he doesn't know anything, how are we to understand God's love for us?

We can't—at least not without God's help. Sometimes life gets so muddy, and we start going through the motions and wondering why we're even here. We forget our purpose and lose sight of the goal. And in those moments, it's easy to forget how much we are loved and how much we are being held. So I prayed for strength as Paul did—strength to grasp the infinite love of Jesus. Without Him, I am nothing; but through Him, He gives me strength.

I left the hammock that day feeling renewed and refreshed. I felt loved and secure. I had the knowledge that on my own, I would stumble and fall and forget about God's love for me (which was what had happened). But I also knew that with God, through His strength, I would be strengthened and restored. I am so thankful to have a God who loves me so infinitely and who reminds me of His love in little ways every day.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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