A PROFOUND AND HIGH PRAYER
The passage that we have read is the second of the two important prayers of the Apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians. In the first prayer, Paul prayed for revelation for the saints that they might see the hope of God’s calling, the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, the power of God toward us, and the church which God is after, which is the Body, the fullness of Christ (1:15-23). In the second prayer, Paul prayed for experience for the saints. This prayer has turned from the objective aspect to the subjective aspect. It can be considered the most profound and the highest prayer in the Bible. There never was, and there probably never will be, another prayer like this. In John 17 the Lord Jesus prayed to the Father. It was a very deep prayer. But Paul’s prayer here is profound and high. One cannot find such a prayer in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, there is no other place that records a prayer as profound and high.
The focus of this prayer is that Christ, who is the embodiment of the Triune God, intends to make His home in the believers and to be deeply rooted in their hearts. Without Paul’s prayer, even though we have the Gospel of John and the fourteen Epistles of Paul, plus Peter’s writings and John’s other writings, we would still be unable to realize that our relationship with Christ is so intimate, that Christ is to be our content, and that He desires to make His home in every part of our being, making us His habitation to express Him. When we speak of the church life, we must understand it to such an extent and enter into the reality in such a way.
We know that a dweller is the content of a dwelling. With the same house, different dwellers result in different contents. According to Paul’s vision, we the believers are the dwelling of Christ. Our content is the all-inclusive Christ, who is the embodiment of the Triune God. He desires to make His home in us and to be deeply rooted in us.
The working saints are the core group in the church life today. I hope that you will all realize this. This will encourage and attract you. It will fill you with a firm conviction. Today in a city like Taipei, there are many attractions. It is easy for you to be affected. On the one hand, Christ desires to gain you. On the other hand, the world wants to occupy you. Are you going to go after the world? Or are you going to go after Christ? The choice is entirely up to you. But how you choose depends on your valuation of the object chosen. This is why I want to unveil to you the treasure that we have, so that you can have a comparison and will be able to make a choice.
In Luke 14 when the Lord Jesus taught the people the way to follow Him, He also mentioned the matters of reckoning and of considering the price. He used two illustrations, saying, “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, will not first sit down and calculate the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all those looking on will begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to engage another king in war, will not first sit down and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Otherwise, while he is yet at a distance, he will send an envoy and ask for the terms of peace” (vv. 28-32). The principle is the same in our following the Lord. There is the need for us to consecrate all we are and have in this life.
(Messages Given to the Working Saints, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)