Paul’s Prayer to the Ephesian’s
Eph. 1:15 – 20
This morning we will be discussing about the prayer of Paul to the church in Ephesus. There were so many instances in his epistles where he prays to Christians or to the recipients of his letters. One thing I have observed is that, his prayer is more on spiritual rather than physical. He never asked for himself but always asked the Lord for others humbly into the throne of grace. There was one occasion where he prayed that the Lord remove his thorn in the flesh but was denied. Let’s take a closer look for his prayer to the Ephesian church.
I. To whom it was offered (Eph. 1:17)
A. The God of our Lord Jesus Christ – this is none other than God the Father
1. He is also “Our Father which art in Heaven” (Mt. 6:9)
2. In the OT He has other names, Here are some of them:
a. The Almighty God – El Shaddai (Gen. 17:1-8; 28:2-3)
b. The Lord of Hosts – Jehovah Sabaoth (1 Sam. 1:3)
c. The Lord who Provides – Jehovah Jireh (Gen. 22:14)
d. The Lord our Banner – Jehovah Nissi (Ex. 17:15)
e. The Lord is peace – Jehovah Shalom (Judg. 6:24)
f. The Lord our Healer – Jehovah Rapha (Ex. 16:26)
g. The Lord our Righteousness – Jehovah Tsidkenu (Jer. 23:6)
h. The Lord our Healer – Jehovah Rapha (Ex. 16:26)
B. Here Paul calls Him also the “Father of Glory”
1. The Father of glory is a well-known Hebrew term for the glorious Father.
2. He is the source of all spiritual glory.
II. Paul’s Supplication: (Eph. 1:17b)
A. That He may “give unto you the Spirit of Wisdom, and Revelation, in the knowledge of Him.”
1. Paul may have been talking here about the Holy Spirit
2. He may have in mind too, about the wisdom which is one of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
3. The Holy Spirit is the author of wisdom and He is the “Revealer” of all truth.
4. His prayer is, that God would fill them the Holy Spirit to make them wise, to reveal his will to them, but most of all, that they may know God.
5. By the way there are few spiritual ways of gaining wisdom as written in the Bible particularly in the Book of Proverbs which is part of the so called “Wisdom Literature”. They are:
a. Reverence (Prov. 9:10)
b. Humility (Prov. 11:2, 15:33)
c. Teachableness (Prov. 9:9, 15:31, 19:20)
d. Diligence (Prov. 8:17, 2:4-5)
e. Uprightness (Prov. 2:7)
f. Faith (James 1:5-8).
Illustration: True or False?
A rich merchant died, leaving a large fortune. He had but one son, who had been sent when quite a lad to an uncle in India. On his way home, after an absence of some years, the young man had been shipwrecked; and though it was believed he had been saved, still no certain tidings reached his father, who, meanwhile, died rather suddenly, leaving his large fortune to the care of an old friend, with strict instructions not to give it up to any claimant until certain conditions had been complied with. At the end of a year, a young man appeared who said he was the heir; then a second, and finally a third. The guardian, who knew that two out of the three claimants must be imposters, made use of the following stratagem: He gave each rival a bow and arrow, and desired them to use the dead man’s picture as the target, and to aim at the heart. The first nearly hit the mark; the second pierced the heart; but the third claimant burst into tears, and refused to dishonor his father’s memory by injuring the portrait of one whom he venerated so highly. The guardian was quite satisfied with the result of his device, and at once welcomed him as the rightful heir and his old friend’s son.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” This speaks of the wisdom we receive from God for everyday decisions. As we walk with Him, He will reveal to us through the Holy Spirit how to make wise decisions (John 16:13). Let us look to Him and we will, like the guardian in our story, be able to rightfully discern truth.
Practical Bible Illustrations From Yesterday and Today.
B. That the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (Eph. 1:18).
1. There are Spiritual things and Godly things which we cannot see with our hearts, and our minds cannot understand.
2. The spiritual eyes of the natural man have been blinded by Satan (2 Cor. 4:4). He cannot understand the saving gospel of Christ.
3. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and Revelation, whose ministry is to convict the unbelievers of sin and righteousness and judgment (Jn. 16:8) can bring light to his spiritual eyes and an understanding faith in Christ.
4. The same Spirit will continue to enlighten his understanding through the Word of God.
5. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can understand the Bible.
III. The Expected Results. That ye may know: (Eph. 1:18b)
A. What is the hope of His calling.
1. We have been called by Christ (Rom. 1:6)
2. We have been called by His Spirit (Rev. 22:17)
3. This calling was done through the preaching of the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14)
4. We have been called out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Pet. 2:9).
5. Hope here means expectation: the hope of this calling is:
a. To fellowship with Christ. (1 Cor. 1:9)
b. To holiness. (1 Thess. 4:7)
c. To liberty (Gal. 5:13)
d. To peace. (1 Cor. 7:15; Col. 3:15)
e. To the eternal glory of Christ. (2 Thess. 2:14; 1 Pet. 5:10)
f. To eternal life. (1 Tim. 6:12)
B. That they may know the riches of God’s inheritance. (Eph. 1:18c)
1. We often think of our inheritance in Christ, in terms of material and physical things, but here it is written the riches of the glory of Christ’s inheritance in the saints (v. 18).
2. The saints are His inheritance. They are the separated ones-those who have been born from above, possessed by His Spirit and yielded to His will. They are Christ’s peculiar treasure. The Lord’s portion is His people; and in the coming ages the glorified Church will be an everlasting witness to the riches of the glory of Christ’s saving grace.
3. The Holy Spirit was given as the guarantee for these riches. (Eph. 1:14)
C. That they might know the power of God.
1. The very power that raised Jesus from the dead is available for our daily lives! Christ has already won the victory over sin, death, the world,. and Satan. God’s people do not fight for victory but from victory! We are seated with Him in the heavenlies, where there are power, peace, and victory.
2. God is so powerful that one of His attribute is omnipotence, meaning, He can do anything.
3. His power is shown not only in creation but also in the resurrection of saints (1 Cor. 6:14), making the gospel effectual (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18,24), delivering His people (Ps. 106:8), the destruction of the wicked (Ex. 9:16; Rom. 9:22), and Establishing and governing all things. (Ps. 65:6; 66:7).
Illustration: World War II Prisoners
Newscaster Paul Harvey told a remarkable story of God’s providential care over thousands of allied prisoners during World War II, many of whom were Christians. One of America’s mighty bombers took off from the island of Guam headed for Kokura, Japan, with a deadly cargo. Because clouds covered the target area, the sleek B-29 circled for nearly an hour until its fuel supply reached the danger point. The captain and his crew, frustrated because they were right over the primary target yet not able to fulfil their mission, finally decided they had better go for the secondary target. Changing course, they found that the sky was clear. The command was given, “Bombs away!” and the B-29 headed for its home base. Sometime later an officer received some startling information from military intelligence. Just one week before that bombing mission, the Japanese had transferred one of their largest concentrations of captured Americans to the city of Kokura. Upon reading this, the officer exclaimed, “Thank God for that protecting cloud! If the city hadn’t been hidden from the bomber, it would have been destroyed and thousands of American boys would have died.”
God’s ways are behind the scenes; but He moves all the scenes which He is behind. We have to learn this, and let Him work. – John Nelson Darby
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is addressed to God the Father that the eyes of their heart will be enlightened, that He may give them the Spirit of Wisdom, and Revelation, and that they might know Him. The result of course is they the hope of His calling, they will know the riches of God’s inheritance, they might know the power of God. Amazing and awesome. I pray the same for you too. Will you pray for me and your fellow Christian also?