A New Old Prayer


When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

As I look back at my life, and currently pay attention to it, I recognize how the Spirit moves through and throughout me as this Buddhist proverb suggests.

Most recently, this biblical passage from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, coined the “Prayer for the Ephesians (Ephesians 3:14-21),” was referenced in a Richard Rohr meditation for the Center of Action and Contemplation:

“That is why I kneel before Abba God, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. And I pray that God, out of the riches of divine glory, will strengthen you inwardly with power through the working of the Spirit. May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, will be able to grasp fully the breadth, length, height and depth of Christ’s love and, with all God’s holy ones, experience this love that surpasses all understanding, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. To God—whose power now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine—to God be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, world without end! Amen.”

I pray these words, written 2,000 years ago,  move you as they moved me. While I surely heard and read these words before on this journey, they struck me today in a new way. I am moved by these promising and hopeful sentences that remind us of who we are, and where we are going.

May these words stop you in your tracks if only for a minute. Be reminded that, to paraphrase Paul, God’s power is now at work in you, and you can do immeasurably more than you ask or imagine.


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