Paul was one of the greatest missionaries who ever lived. He led many to the Lord, started many churches, and kept in touch with those churches. They kept in touch with him. The church in Ephesus was one of them. He heard how they were growing in their faith in Jesus Christ and of their love for one another. This caused Paul to give thanks for them and to remember them in his prayers.
Then in Ephesians 1:15-22, he tells us more specifically what he prayed for in their behalf. He says: “I keep asking … ” This shows it was not a one-time deal. It also shows how important this prayer was. I call it “what every Christian should know and have.” I want to share it with you today.
First of all, Paul prayed that God would give them “the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so you may know him better.” He calls this “having the eyes of your heart enlightened.” Many people read the Bible and do not understand it. The Holy Spirit was given to Christians to help us understand it. He can open our spiritual eyes to see and understand spiritual truths.
This does not just happen. Like a cow chews its cud to digest what he has eaten, so a Christian needs to read and meditate and seek God’s help to get the riches blessings from the Word. Then we can claim the promise: “When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:13) What a blessing it is when God’s Word becomes real to us.
Secondly, Paul prayed that “they may know what is the hope to which he has called you.” In Colossians 1:27, Paul speaks of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” In Titus 2:13, it speaks of “waiting for our glorious hope, the appearance of our … glorious Savior.” Having Christ in our hearts guarantees we will go to heaven and enjoy that wonderful new world that Christ will create when he comes again.
Thirdly, Paul prayed that we would realize “what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” Jesus inherited us! He is not interested in gold and silver. Heaven is full of all of that. What Jesus died for and desires with all his heart is you and me! That is how precious we are to Jesus! God wants us to know that.
Finally, Paul prayed that we may know “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe,” demonstrated in the resurrection of Christ who now sits on the throne of the universe.
Christians have God on their side! We have more power than anything in this world. Above all, even when we look weak and are dying, we are guaranteed Jesus will raise us up just as he was raised up. Regardless of our problems, we “can do all things through Christ” who strengthens us.
These are truths every Christian ought to know! May God give you the faith to believe them and live victoriously in his love and power.
The writer is the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sidney.