For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that according to the riches of his glory
he may grant you to be strengthened with power
through his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith -
that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
In English classes growing up, I often ran into trouble for run-on sentences. But I kept writing sentences that, even if they weren't run-ons, just went way too long. "Don't have a sentence more than two lines", they said. Mine were usually pushing five lines.
I knew I wasn't doing it right. I knew this was a problem. They're not supposed to be that long! And then I read a novel by one my favorite authors, Michael Chabon, and half-way through a chapter, I began to notice something. There hadn't been a period yet.
A twelve page chapter was entirely one sentence.
I still don't think that's the best way to write or speak. It made the chapter awkward to read. But I could still understand what it meant, even if it sounded a little rambling.
Paul does something similar in Ephesians 3. It's not twelve pages, but if I were editor, I would circle it with a note, "Too long. Break up into multiple sentences." But praise God, he doesn't need me to edit his scriptures. Maybe the rambling is part of the point.
When we bow our knees before the Father, we don't need to be eloquent or precise. We don't need to say just the right words, or keep talking until we hit the magic phrase that makes God do what we want.
We pray that the Holy Spirit would give us inward strength, that Christ would dwell in our hearts through faith. We look to the magnificence of God, and pray that we would comprehend the love of Christ even though it's so great that it's beyond knowing.
Father, we bow our knees before you and pray that we would be filled with your fullness. We pray that we would be rooted and grounded in your love. Amen.