Thursday, December 4, 2014
What Did You Pray for Today?
17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.
I find Paul’s prayers to be particularly insightful for they help us to sense the longings of his heart and what he sees as the needs of these new disciples. In this prayer we find three things that are necessary for their continued and on-going spiritual growth and development.
1) A Spirit of wisdom. This desire is actually for these disciples to come to know God through his wisdom. It is God’s wisdom, visible in Christ Jesus that is provided to us through the Holy Spirit. By living in the power of the Holy Spirit we receive this Spirit of wisdom which allows us to come to know God. Those that love God are drawn closer to him and are in fellowship with him, experiencing his very nature. This wisdom leads us to the second prayer request of Paul.
2) A spirit of understanding. Our minds are opened by the presence of the Spirit and God’s wisdom helps to enlighten us to understand him better. Faith in Jesus Christ may seem foolish to this world but it is transformational in the life of the believer. This transformation reveals to us the hope which we have and the hope is a glorious hope — one of adoption into the family of saints. The spirit of understanding allows us to see that we are called to be holy reflections of Jesus Christ as we live in the likeness of him who is the incarnate Image of God. The inheritance for us is that which is possible for all children of God — and it is more than anything we could ever imagine. Not only is the desire for an understanding but,
3) An experience of power. The power of God is already at work in the life of the Ephesians and that God is able to do is far more than what the goddess of Ephesus, Diana is able to do for them. This is resurrection power — transformational power — adoption power — power to be made saints kind of power!
This is what Paul knew was important in the life of the Ephesians and it was his prayer for them.
This prayer begs the question, “What did you pray for today?”
Too often our prayer life is filled with a long list of prayer requests. I’ll confess I have a whole host of individuals for whom I pray by name. At the same time I am challenged as to the depth for which I pray for them. Too often I just pray for them by name — Paul really prayed for them by need. He recognized the deep spiritual need which existed among the people and so he prayed for them that they would know Christ in a deeper and more intimate way.
Did I pray today for this type of depth in my own spiritual life? Did I pray for the on-going discipling of those around me? May God help me so that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened and that he may lead me into a deeper prayer life for we really should be concerned about what we are praying for!
Lord, would you please lead me to that place where I am praying with your heart and passion. Amen.