If there is one painful lesson all believers must learn, it is that as Christ said to His apostles, “Without me ye can do nothing.” That is, without the strength of Christ reigning within us, we have no strength of ourselves to perform that which is spiritual. While there may be life, there may be no spiritual strength.
This prayer therefore implies that believers are weak in themselves. They are in need of strength from above proportionate to the various kinds of services, temptations, and trials they are called unto. Christians have need of every kind, degree, and supply of strength for the following purposes:
- To enable us to resist the temptations of Satan, to stand against him.
- To oppose the corruptions of our own nature, that great army of corruption that wars against us and threatens to carry us captive and to destroy us.
- To bear the cross, which, without the presence and grace of Christ, is very heavy.
- To bear all afflictions and adversities of every sort, which are grievous to the flesh and at which it recoils.
- To perform the various duties of religion and the whole of the work of our generation (e.g., as faithful spouse, parent, employee, church member, community member).
- To persevere in faith and holiness, to hold on and hold out to the end.
“In trial and weakness and trouble, He seeks to bring us low, until we learn that His grace is all, and to take pleasure in the very thing that brings us and keeps us low. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. His presence filling and satisfying our emptiness, becomes the secret of humility that need never fail. The humble man has learned the secret of abiding gladness. The weaker he feels, the lower he sinks, and the greater his humiliations appear, the more power and the presence of Christ are his portion.”—Andrew Murray