“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.”
(Ephesians 1:15–23 ESV)
Paul has this way of bursting into prayer and really long sentences….
I think the reason for this is that Paul loved the people he was writing to so very much that his desire to tell them how much God loved them overwhelmed any concerns about grammar and brevity.
He couldn’t get out more enough, fast enough…
That’s how a pastor should feel about his people and if he does he will pray for them with this kind of enthusiasm and zeal…giving thanks for those he is serving.
Please note what he thinks of when he thinks of this church… their faith and their love.
He prays that the Ephesians will receive a supernatural, God given knowledge of God that isn’t simply head knowledge, but a result of having “the eyes of your heart enlightened”.
We believe all this wonderful news to be true…and we don’t.
We believe it because the Bible says it and that settles it, but when it comes to owning it in our hearts, for ourselves, we struggle.
We need this prayer of Paul’s prayed for us and we need to pray it for each other.
We believe, Lord…help our unbelief.
Once we believe with our hearts we will see the three things that Paul says are ours.
1. “The hope to which He has called us.” You were called for a purpose, to something for something. You are in Christ, part of the advance team of the kingdom and you will fulfill that which you are called to. You have hope, a sure hope that this is true and when His purpose is fulfilled here you have eternity with Him.
2. “The riches of His inheritance in the saints” Preachers argue whether this is referring to the fact that we are Christ’s inheritance or the fact that as adopted children of the King all the richest blessings of heaven are ours. Quit arguing and take both…
3. “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe”. The greatest display of power in the history of the world was when God raised Christ from the dead…and that same power is at work in you and through you today.
We believe, Lord, help our unbelief…
The last thing Paul wants you to know is that your King reigns now.. He is” 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.”
The church is the Kings body bringing His rule and reign now in anticipation of His final return.
If only we acted like it…and were known for our faith and love.
Next week…Ephesians 2