(Conviction => Submission => Revelation => Transformation)
What examples in scriptures do we have of these links?
Eph 3:14-17a For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole 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
"For this reason" refers to what he's been saying all along - namely that Gentile believers (the Ephesian Christians in particular), have been included in the family of God. And members of the family exist both in heaven and on earth, though one should not read too much into that. Jesus said in the context of the coming resurrection, "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." Luke 20:38
But getting on to the content of Paul's request it appears that in light of their being included in Christ what first comes to Paul's mind as to what should be requested on their behalf is for their convictions to be strengthened. Christ inhabits all believers. And "if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Rom 8:9 He is not praying for them to be saved. For he already said, "you also were included in Christ"Eph 1:13 But to dwell is a matter of degree. Christ dwells in one's heart - being Lord over one's desires - by faith. The degree to which he dwells in us is a function of the strength of our convictions.
So pray for yourself and other believers for your convictions to be
strengthen so that Christ my freely reign within you.
Eph 3:17b-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, 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
There is a revelation of Christ which transforms a person's life. In fact this is the process of sanctification.
1. He starts off with the development of faith in verse 16, which lead to the revelation of Christ's love, being rooted and established in the love of God. Such faith leads to obedience. "Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith." Rom 1:5 and "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching." John 14:23
2. Obedience leads to Revelation - or namely understanding. "I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts."Ps 119:100 and Jesus said, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:21 If we really want to know God more, we must be willing to obey Him concerning those things that He has already revealed to us.
3. Revelations leads to Transformation - being filled with the
fulness of God. "We know that when he appears, we
shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this
hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." 1John 3:2,3
(Also Col 1:9-12; Job 28:28)
Eph 3:20,21 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.
Being mortal we often think small. We ask for small things - material things, temporal things. Prayer requests are often dominated by concerns of health, finances and job security, but so few requests reflect the prayers found in the New Testament letters and here in Ephesians in particular which concern spiritual and eternal matters. So when you pray consider whether your requests are too small. And pray about root causes and not just symptoms.
We as Christians are never alone. "Continue to
work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works
in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Php
2:12,13 Now "he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Php