The Prayer of Union and Love



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Ephesians 3:14–21

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.


Easter is here—and Eastertide has begun! Eastertide is a fifty-day season of celebration that orients us to the resurrection of Jesus and all the benefits that come to us as people of the resurrection.

I like to think of seasons like Eastertide as doorways. They serve as entry points through which we walk into a room with God’s marvelous works on display. In other words, seasons are like doorways to focusing ourselves wholly on one aspect of God’s story so that we can immerse ourselves more deeply into the spiritual reality at work in us now. If Easter is a doorway for us, then what is a good heart posture as we enter this season of celebration? How should we observe this great remembrance of the resurrection life we have been given in Christ? How should we ready ourselves for this movement in God’s redemptive story?

I would suggest that we enter by way of a very special prayer.

The prayer of Ephesians 3:14–21 is eight verses long. It was written by the apostle Paul from prison to brothers and sisters in Ephesus whom he cared deeply about. The prayer is full of intercession (he is praying for us), faith (he clearly believes what he’s praying), and love (his love overflows into the goal that we as readers experience the love God has for us). The prayer is directed to God the Father and is one of the most beautiful, profound, worshipful, and love-centered prayers of the New Testament.

What may not be so obvious is that the majority of what Paul is praying in this passage is deeply rooted in the teaching of Jesus (more on that later). I like to call this prayer our entry point for Eastertide, the Prayer for Union and Love. Let’s go a little deeper.

Paul is interceding. He is asking for something of the Father, with faith, for the rest of us. As he prays, it would seem as though he is overcome by love—love for God and for his people. Read the passage out loud, with enthusiasm, and you’ll see what I mean. From what seems to be a wellspring of worship bursting from his heart, Paul pours out his request for the saints in Ephesus—and for you and me today.

As I read the prayer, he seems to be praying for two things:

  • That we would have power to experience union with the indwelling Jesus (vv. 16–17), and

  • That we would have power to know the fullness of Christ’s love for us (vv. 17–19)

I actually believe that Paul is praying for us that we would reach the goal of the Christian life: union with God in Christ. And that union, in both the Gospels and Paul’s letters, is often spoken of in the context of Christ’s love.

Paul wants us to be one with Jesus, who lives in us, and to know the fullness of his love for us. That is where the whole salvation project in your life and mine is headed. Not just forgiveness for sin. Not mere acceptance or tolerance on God’s part. Not more religious activities stacked on your already congested schedule. Certainly not a ticket to heaven.

Union with God in Christ—that is the hope toward which we are all headed.

This Prayer for Union and Love will become our prayer for this journey together. Paul knew we would need God’s power to apprehend what it means to have Jesus living in us. He also knew that we would need power to comprehend the expansive love Christ has for us. Human attempts to understand an indwelling God will fail us. Human efforts to conjure up a sense of Christ’s love toward us will leave us empty. With this prayer, we are praying for God to do what only God can do: to reveal the reality of his abiding in us, and the incomparable nature of the love that pursues you and me each day.

We’ll take the next few days to explore the riches in this prayer as we enter Eastertide.

Let’s begin.


Lord Jesus, I am in you and you are in me. I pray that true spiritual longing would be stirred in my heart today—longing to experience a fullness of relationship with you and longing to experience the fullness of your love. I want to live in union with you as you live in me, “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” In Christ Jesus, I pray, amen.


Have you ever had an experience when you felt like you were one with God? What was your experience like, and how did it change you?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. I sense the presence of Christ living in me through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit mainly in times of fellowship with other believers, especially when we are exploring the deeper things of God together. This is when it seems that the Spirit is drawing us closer together with Jesus in our midst. These times of refreshment serve to grant encouragement to me when Christ’s presence is not so easily felt.

  2. Most recently, Saturday, March 16, at 5:30 am while sitting on an oceanfront hotel balcony at Myrtle Beach.
    A star-filled sky hovered overhead, and the ocean crashed below. Thinking of God’s creative prowess, I started singing His praise. The stars twinkled more brightly as my spirit moved, and the wave’s roar became God’s voice. My made-up song of worship and praise became a prayer sung from love.
    I don’t know the longevity of the worship, nor did I have a grand vision or a revelation, but I experienced an intense movement of God’s love by loving Him in Truth and in Spirit.
    This event was a Kodak moment, forever etched in my spirit, a nibble of the magnitude of God’s love for us.

    Staying 💪’n Christ
    Ephesians 6:10
    Finally, be strong IN the Lord and IN His mighty power.

  3. Let Christ “dwell in your heart” and experience “love that surpasses knowledge.” Daily live “through His Spirit in your inner being.” Be “rooted and established in love” and “have power together with all the Lord’s holy people.”

    Jesus is the only human being that will ever be one with God. The rest of will never be part of the godhead. We are called to surrender to our will to God and be forever connected with Him heart-to-heart. I feel that heart-connection every day.

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