Original Research

The ‘lived experiences’ of the love of God according to a prayer in the letter of Ephesians

Dirk G. van der Merwe
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2421 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2421 | © 2022 Dirk G. van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 November 2021 | Published: 28 February 2022

About the author(s)

Dirk G. van der Merwe, Department of New Testament, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

The epistle to the Ephesians is regarded as a circular letter, yet it also contains two specific intercessory prayers (1:15–23; 3:14–21) in which the Trinity concept features persuasively. On the one side, this research tends to point out how the divine attribute of love relates to all three the divine persons in cooperation and how the trinity concept features in the prayer in Ephesians 3:14–21. On the other side, the article also aims to identify conceived spiritualities (lived experiences of the divine trinity) that the hearers (readers) could have perceived and experienced when hearing this prayer or even praying this prayer themselves. Methodologically, the ‘hermeneutic research approach’, as proposed and developed by Waaijman and Iser, has been deductively applied for the investigation in this research. Firstly, the dynamic and relational character of the trinitarian God is briefly discussed. Secondly, an exploration of the appearance and inclusion of trinitarianism in Ephesians has been conducted. Thirdly, the focus falls on trinitarian spirituality (the divine attribute of love) in Ephesians 3:14–21. Mechanisms proposed by Waaijman and Iser, which could foster spiritualities in the reading of texts, have been applied to Ephesians 3:14–21 to contribute towards a validation for a trinitarian spirituality of prayer.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This research challenges believers to experience divine presence in the reading of biblical texts, how the reader can become involved in the text. This spirituality will certainly prepare them to experience the divine involvement in their personal life every day. The magnificent methodology proposed by Waaijman has been applied to guide the believers in accomplishing this.


Keywords

Ephesians; Trinity concept; lived experiences; intercessory prayers; love

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