Ephesians 1:15-19 Since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, this is the reason that I don’t stop giving thanks to God for you when I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers. This power is conferred by the energy of God’s powerful strength.
One of the things I love about Paul is how much his life revolves around prayer. Paul prays all the time and for everyone he has encountered. This shows us how serious Paul took praying and how it impacted his life. Something else that stands out to me is not that Paul prayed, but what he prayed for.
What are some things you personally pray for? I hear people pray for healing, for successful surgeries, for health, for safe travels, for blessings on meetings and events. It seems many of us, including me, look at prayer as something to do only when there are health issues or we want God to bless “our” efforts and work.
There are also people who pray for so much more than just physical healing or ailments. They go straight to the human condition, adding in spiritual, emotional, mental, AND physical healing and wholeness for those they love and those they consider to be enemies.
Going back over this passage today, we can see what it was that Paul was praying for. Bottom line is, he prayed for the power of God to be evident in each person so that we remember who we belong to and what it is we truly work for. So Paul begins by saying he thanks God for each person. What a great prayer. A simple “thank you” prayer. Lately I have found myself praying and giving thanks for the challenging people and situations in my life. It has helped me to see them and work with them as children of God, brothers and sisters in Christ. Not everyone or everything will go smoothly, but we can thank God because He is with us and is also with the other people.
He also goes on to say he prays for the spirit of wisdom so that God is made known to the people. We should do this today so that others come to know the joy that is found in Jesus Christ. Who do you know that you can pray for to come to faith? Have you prayed for yourself in this area for your faith to become stronger?
Paul also basically prays for the light of Jesus Christ to be shown through each believer so that the incredible power of God will be made known among those around us. Think about this, Paul has been beaten and has been imprisoned, shipwrecked, thrown out-of-town, mocked, ridiculed, and so much more. Through all of this he ca still praise God and give thanks for the people. Many of his converts were also people who did some of the things to him. Think of the forgiveness Paul had in his heart. He remembered he was no where near perfect, and this helped him to pray for all people, give thanks for them AND for God’s power and presence to be made known in them and through them.
We are challenged daily to go beyond superficial prayers, through we need to continue praying for physical healing and safety; but we should also look toward the spiritual realm, the emotional realm, the mental and relational. God is so incredible and big enough to handle things we may not want to lift up. This is part of the power of the gospel.