The answer to Paul’s prayer in Eph 3:14-19 hinges on us being rooted and grounded in love. There is a companion passage to Paul’s prayer request in the Gospel of John.
In Jn 14:15, Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Like Paul, he stresses the necessity to be rooted and grounded in love and to keep his commandments. We must be rooted and grounded in love:
To be strengthened with the Spirit – Eph 3:16 and Jn 14:16-17. Notice how Jesus said that he would “pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter.” We take for granted, as Christians, that the Spirit is in us because we are saved. But Paul was praying that we would “be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” There is a difference between the Holy Spirit simply being in us and the Holy Spirit filling and strengthening us. Any of us who have been backslidden know this all too well. For the Spirit to strengthen us we must love Jesus Christ.
For Christ to dwell in our hearts by faith – Eph 3:17 and Jn 14:18. Notice the Jesus said, “I will come to you.” Christ dwells in us when we are saved, of course. But for him to dwell in our hearts by faith, we must be rooted and grounded in our love for Christ. How many Christians have had a season where they weren’t even sure if Christ was in them? This lack of certainty was due to their lack of love for the Lord Jesus Christ. How much do you really love Christ today?
To know the love of Christ – Eph 3:19 and Jn 14:19-21. Again, as we discussed in Sunday school, Paul was not talking about a “knowledge” of Christ’s love, because it “passeth knowledge.” He was talking about knowing the love of Christ, personally. The amount you know the love of Christ is directly proportionate to the amount of love you have for him. To really know the love of Christ, you must be rooted and grounded in love for him.
To be filled with the fulness of God – Eph 3:19 and Jn 14:22-23. Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Being filled with fulness of God is conditioned upon being rooted and grounded in love for Christ and being obedient to Christ’s words. There are some who say they love Christ, but they don’t keep his words. There are some who keep his words, but they don’t really love him. Do you love Christ fully? The more you love him, the more you will be filled with the fulness of God. They go hand in hand.
To comprehend the body with all saints – Eph 3:18 and Jn 13:34-35 with Jn 17:21-23. As we discussed in Sunday school, the breadth, length, depth, and height have to do with the stature of the fulness of Christ [Eph 4:13] in God Almighty (listen to today’s Sunday school lesson). We are to be made perfect in one in Christ’s body. This is only possible if we love one another as Christ loved us the we were commanded by Jesus Christ. How much do you love the brethren, I mean, really love them? As much as Christ loved them? We can never be one in Christ if we don’t have love one for another and keep his words.
Conclusion: all the things Paul prayed for in Eph 3:14-19 hinge on our love for Christ and obedience to his commandments, including loving one another. Now is an excellent time to search your heart and ask the Lord to help you love Christ and the brethren as much as he knows you can.