For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,…
The worldly proverb is, "Every man for himself and God for us all"; the true Christian practice is, to follow Christ: — "I have prayed for thee, that thy strength fall not"; "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." And in following the Lord, to follow St. Paul's advice and example: — "For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." What an intercession this is which St. Paul makes for the Ephesians! It is a pattern of intercessory prayer; it is rightly grounded; it seeks the most precious gifts on behalf of his brethren; it has the highest designs in view in asking their bestowment.
I. THE FAITH ON WHICH HIS PRAYER WAS FOUNDED.
1. The Fatherhood of God. This is the foundation thought of the Lord's prayer — "Our Father." The Father will not fail us.
2. The brotherhood of the saints in Christ. Heaven and earth are knit into one in Jesus. "Of whom the whole family," every race, "in heaven and earth is named." The sense is that all the classes and communities of heaven and earth own a common paternity.
II. THE GREAT GIFTS ST. PAUL SOUGHT FOR OTHERS IN THIS PRAYER.
1. The infusion of spiritual strength — "to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man."
2. The indwelling of Christ — "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."
3. The establishment of their hearts in the love of God "rooted and grounded in love."
III. THE DESIGN OF HIS PRAYER FOR THE BESTOWMENT ON THEM OF THESE GIFTS. Such spiritual strength, and such an indwelling, were to lead to —
1. Their comprehension of the love of Christ. This is St. Paul's paradox; to know the unknowable, to know the nature, if we cannot know the extent, of the love of Christ.
2. Their being "filled with the fulness of God." Where the Son of God dwells, there is the fulness of God. Such is a brief outline of an exposition of this most precious of prayers.
(Canon Vernon Hutton.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,