Praying God's Strength for Others
Tuesday - February 22nd
Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 3:14-21
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.
Nicholas Alkemade, a British WWII pilot, survived a free fall of 18k ft (3.2mi) while on fire. Later in life, while working at a chemical plant, he was electrocuted and breathed toxic chlorine gas for fifteen minutes. On another occasion, a burst pipe sprayed him with sulphuric acid. A 9ft long steel beam fell and pinned him in another incident until emergency workers set him free. Yet, Alkemade fully recovered from all of these life-threatening injuries and disasters (crazily enough).
While I, of course, did not know Nicholas Alkemade personally, the stories of his near-death experiences tell me that he must have been one tough guy. It would take physical and mental strength to withstand just one of the events he faced in his life.
Maybe you haven't fallen 18k feet from an airplane, been pinned by a heavy beam that fell on you, or any of the other challenges Alkemade faced, but you know life can be challenging. Unfortunately, lots of people get overwhelmed by it. They get paralyzed by circumstances that crush the spirit out of them. As Christians, it can happen to us if we do not understand the power God offers us for life.
Paul encouraged the believers in the Church at Ephesus with a reminder of what he prayed for them regularly. "I pray that out of God's glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being" (Ephesians 3:16). Notice that the Apostle prays that God would empower them in their inner being, not with physical brute strength. Instead, the power will come from the indwelling Holy Spirit that he said was living inside all who have believed in Christ. This strength is deeper and better than something so simple as brute strength.
Paul's pattern of praying for the Ephesian believers two thousand years ago teaches us a lot about praying for each other today. How long has it been since you prayed for God to give strength to someone's inner being through the Holy Spirit?
This week, take some time to pray for two to three brothers and sisters in Christ who face tough challenges right now. Pray that God's Spirit would strengthen them in their inner being. Ask God to help them as they move forward - even with their challenges.
While many people may look invincible for a while, we ultimately all succumb to suffering and, eventually, death itself. Even Charles Alkemade died after escaping all of those close calls. Yet, we need to pray for each other to find empowerment in God's Spirit in our everyday lives! Facing life's trials and death itself is radically different when we have God's Spirit strengthening our inner being!
As we pray that God would strengthen our fellow believers in their innermost being, God will answer!