For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength
Paul closes out this section with a beautiful prayer for the saints in Ephesus. Here we see the heart of a spiritual shepherd. He begins his prayer by acknowledging the faith and love of those in Ephesus. He is thankful for their testimony in that region. Their excellent reputation must have encouraged his heart. There is nothing more fulfilling for a shepherd to hear than that his disciples are reflecting the nature of Christ where they are planted.
The content in Paul’s prayer is quite powerful and serves as a model to those who are called to shepherd God’s flock. First, he prays that God would give them “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” This revelation refers to the discernment the Spirit of God brings to the reading and application of God’s Holy Word. Paul knew the Ephesians would not be able to understand all this unless the Spirit of God was their teacher. Second, Paul wanted his readers to have the proper knowledge so that they might get to know God more intimately. You see, there is a difference between informational discipleship and transformational discipleship. Informational discipleship is filling our heads with knowledge about God. Transformational discipleship is filling our hearts with God as we spend time in His presence. Paul is praying that his readers will come to know God more intimately. Paul prayed that his readers would have more heart knowledge to go along with their head knowledge.
In verse eighteen, Paul prays for his readers to have a deeper understanding of, “the hope of His calling, what is the wealth of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” Here, Paul is emphasizing the assurance of eternal life guaranteed by the “seal and down payment” of the Holy Spirit. Paul knew that believers would live a more dynamic and effective life if they grasped the security that is theirs in Christ. Believers who are secure in their salvation tend to take more risks and boldly proclaim the Good News of Jesus, even in an unfriendly environment.
Lastly, he prays that his readers would understand that God’s power alone can accomplish all that God has promised. Rather than relying on our own strength, we must learn to trust in God’s power to accomplish His redemptive purposes in our life and in His world. It is tempting to take matters into our own hands. So, Paul prays that believers would trust in God’s power to accomplish His will. This truly is the prayer of a shepherd who cares for his flock. He is praying for deeper understanding and a deeper commitment for those who claim the name of Jesus.
Questions to Ponder
What do you think of the content of Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus? Would this be a good model prayer to pray for others? Yourself? What are you doing to get to know God more intimately? What is the difference between informational discipleship and transformational discipleship?
- Praise be to You, oh God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
- Thank the Lord Jesus for our church family and their faith in Him and love for all the saints.
- Ask God to give you an intercessory heart just like Paul, as he never stopped giving thanks to the Lord and remembered those in Ephesus in his prayers. Ask God to grow you up in Him to intercede for the church.
- Ask our Glorious Father to grant our beloved Oak Pointe Church Family a spirit of wisdom and revelation, that we all will know Him better and experience Him.
- Ask that the eyes of our heart would be opened so that we would know the hope to which He has called us to, the Hope of Christ, the anchor of our souls.
- Ask that the eyes of our heart would be open in order that we would know the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints and His incomparably great power for us who believe, the Holy Spirit.
Let’s pray together Paul’s first thanksgiving and intercessory prayer from Ephesians 1:15-23: “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him form the dead and seated him at this right hand in the heavenly realms, far above rule and authority, power and dominion over every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, his fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
Come and join many of us who will be praying Ephesians 1:15-23, Ephesians 3:14-21, and Ephesians 6:10-20 every day while Bob teaches us the book of Ephesians. These are great prayers for you to pray for yourself, family, our church family, and the greater one church.