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How to have eternal life


 Deep Roots

January 6, 2002

[I pray] that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend . . . the love of Christ. -Ephesians 3:17-19

A friend told me about a neighbor who years ago spent most of his spare time planting trees. The man seldom watered the young trees because he thought that too much watering spoiled them. (He came from the "no pain, no gain" school of plant care.) Pampered trees, he said, made for shallow roots, and deep roots were something to be treasured. My friend told me that he often walks by the old place and looks at the trees his neighbor planted 25 years earlier. They're rugged, strong, and durable now. Tall and tough. Adversity and deprivation seem to have benefited them in ways that being sheltered and pampered couldn't. All of this makes me think about the way I pray for others. I'm inclined to pray that God will spare my family and friends from hardship, but lately I've changed my praying. I don't ask for an easy life for them, for that may
not come in this world. Instead, I try to echo the prayer of the apostle Paul for the believers in Ephesus (3:14-19). I ask that their roots will go down deep into the love of God-experiencing a close relationship with Him-so they'll grow up sturdy and strong. Then when the winds of adversity blow, they  won't be swept away but will stand tall as a testimony of faith.


For Further Study
Read the following passages and note how Paul prayed:
Ephesians 1:17-19; 3:14-19; Colossians 1:9-12.
Follow Paul's pattern as you pray for others today.

Pray not for a life free from trouble, but for triumph over
trouble.
 

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