July 21: Praying to the Sovereign God (Eph. 1:15-23)
Ephesians 1:15-23 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (ESV)
In this passage Paul gives us a model to follow in praying that we might enjoy the full blessings of our salvation. After giving thanks for the work of God in the lives of the Ephesian believers, he petitions God on behalf of these believers, that they might gain an even greater understanding of all that God has done for them. Paul’s intent in praying for increased knowledge is that they might find God glorious and worthy of all their worship. Much of this prayer is directed not to circumstantial issues, but instead that they would rejoice in the hope to which God has called them, that they would see the infinite value that God gives to us by calling us to be his people and the incredible power given to the church to advance the kingdom of Jesus.
Review and Apply
- What are the differences between the content of your prayers and the content of Paul’s prayers?
- Why does Paul give thanks to God for the faith and love of the saints? Why should we follow his practice?
- Why does Paul pray that God would give us the Spirit of revelation after telling us in verse 14 that we have already been sealed with the Spirit.
- How does the Spirit help us to know God better (v. 17)?
- Describe the hope to which God has called you. How often does this hope factor into your prayer life?
- Consider the terms of power used in verses 20-23. How can these truths banish the fears and concerns we face in the struggles of temporal life?