Paul’s prayer in the Ephesian letter jumped off the page at me. In Ephesians 1, he breaks out in praise over what God accomplished in Christ, yet prays for every believer to fully grasp it all. In other words, Paul says, there are aspects of your salvation you have not yet realized and these are 3 things every believer must pursue to become The Unexplainable Church.
Look carefully at Ephesians 1:16-20
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 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, 18 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, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places
Pursue The Holy Spirit
Paul prays that the Ephesians might receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
The Ephesians have the Holy Spirit, Paul tells them this. Paul isn’t praying for them to have more of the Holy Spirit. Paul is praying that the Holy Spirit might bring them to a place where they have complete understanding and application of who Jesus is and all that means in their daily lives.
In other words- I’m praying for you to know Him with a level of intimacy that you do not yet have.
Pursue The Effects of The Holy Spirit
Next Paul discusses the results that this knowledge brings:
- The hope to which he has called you.
Ever met Christians who seem to be low on hope? Maybe it’s you. I know at times it certainly has been me! Paul says, “Pray for the Holy Spirit to fully reveal Christ to you and to give you wisdom in your situation and you will be filled with hope!”
2. The riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
Let’s imagine today you have to eat Ramen Noodles for lunch, because all you have is 50 cents to spend on your meal. (I’m totally having college flashbacks right now.) But you know tomorrow you are going to be given a million dollars. Are you going to care that you eat Ramen Noodles today in light of what is going to happen to you tomorrow? Of course not! Paul prays that we fully grasp the inheritance which awaits us. In light of that, our Ramen Noodles turn to mere inconvenience.
3. His incomparably great power for us who believe.
This ties to the hope factor. Hopelessness springs from helplessness over our situations. Paul prays that we might fully grasp the power which is available to us in Christ Jesus. Power strong enough to raise Christ from the dead and defeat death. Dynamite power Paul calls it! But how do we apply it? By praying for the Holy Spirit to fill us with a knowledge of wisdom and revelation of all we have in Christ Jesus.
Paul prays this for the believers. Why? Because it’s not automatic. While we receive the Holy Spirit, this wisdom and revelation must be pursued- relentlessly. I love how in the NIV Paul says, “I keep asking”. Paul pursues these qualities in every believer’s life through intercession- as we ought to do as well.
When we feel hopeless, helpless or powerless, Paul says, you fail to understand all you have in Christ. Pursue knowledge of Him by praying for the Holy Spirit to fill you with wisdom and revelation. You must pursue this to experience the full measure of your salvation.
Erica is the author of The Unexplainable Church: Reigniting the Mission of the Early Believers, as Bible study covering Acts 13-28, released by Moody Publishers.