Have you ever considered doing a study of all of the prayers in the Bible?
This is a study I’d like to do some time, because I believe it helps us to understand ways to deepen and enrich our own prayer lives.
Paul ends chapter one with a prayer that is so powerful, one could write an entire book just on that prayer alone.
In this prayer there are two things that Paul wanted the Ephesian Christians to understand that are important for us today; because if we, today, could grasp the incredible power of what Paul was praying for these saints, it would utterly transform how we live our day-to-day lives.
2 Things Paul Prayed for the Church
1. That God would give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation
Wisdom is the ability to see life and life’s circumstances from God’s perspective. Revelation is divine knowledge about circumstances or events that would be otherwise unknown.
God is praying that as they grow to know Christ more, that the Holy Spirit would open their eyes to see life from a spiritual perspective and have divine revelation in these circumstances.
2. That the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened
Not just so that they would know how to respond in those times when others would be flummoxed or hung up on an important decision to make; but this part of the prayer goes to a whole different dimension.
Paul is praying that their spiritual sight would become engaged so that they would know these four things
a) The hope of His calling – it is tempting here to want to focus on the modern understanding of the word “calling”, or the spiritual gifts that we operate in as the body of Christ. But in this context, Paul is talking about the call to salvation.
Do you really understand the hope you have as God’s child? As a child of God, we are never hopeless! We are never in despair. Even when in this life it seems that there is no hope of our circumstances ever getting better, we have the hope of eternal life with Jesus Christ.
b) The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints – I love how Paul stacks his sentences. It can be complicated to read sometimes, but when you start breaking them down, you begin to see just how deep they are!
He wants us to know His inheritance. Whose inheritance? Jesus’ inheritance. As the only begotten Son, the inheritance belongs to Him. Notice “His” in this sentence is capitalized, meaning that the sentence is referring to one of the Trinity. In this case, Jesus Christ.
What is His inheritance? Its the saints. What saints? That’s us! When we became a child of God, He justified us by the blood of Jesus, and that judicial act of justification obliterated our sin and made us a saint.
What kind of inheritance is it? It’s a rich and glorious inheritance! How many riches does God have? Unlimited riches, and Paul prays that we begin to understand just how glorious and unlimited those riches are.
c) The exceeding greatness of His power – Now, this next section just builds and keeps on building right to the end; and I want to break this down, because it is so tremendously powerful.
Paul wants us to understand the just how great the power of God is. The Greek word for “exceeding” is hyperballo, or as we would say in English hyperbole.
There are two things that Paul prays that we grasp about the immense greatness of God’s power.
- He gives it to all who believe
- Its the same “voltage” as it was when God raised Christ from the dead and made Him ascend into heaven
Did you grasp that?
Think about how much power it would take for someone to raise themselves from the dead. How is that even possible? If you’re dead, how can you raise yourself from the dead?
But God can, because He has that much power. He is God – He is all-powerful, and He chooses to grant you that same power, by virtue of the fact that the Holy Spirit – the third person of the Trinity – lives inside of you.
That same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at your disposal…at 100%.
d) Our position in Christ – As chapter one wraps up, Paul is preparing to reveal to us what our position in Christ is. First, He has to establish Christ’s position in order for us to understand our position in Him.
What is Christ’s position?
- At the right hand of God
- In the heavenlies
- Far above all principality (rule)
- Far above all power (authority)
- Far above all might and dominion (power)
- Far above all name that is named, past present and future
In Ephesians 2:6 Paul says, “…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”
What is our position?
We are raised up, seated together in the heavenlies in Christ. Right now! That is our position. It is a position of victory. (Far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.)
And God place everything under Christ’s authority and made Him head over the Church. The church is the physical representation of Christ.
In John 14:12, Jesus said this, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
When Jesus ascended into heaven, He multiplied Himself through His believers for one purpose, so that through them He could exponentially more than He could as one physical being.
We are the physical representation of Christ – individually and collectively as a church.
And when we grasp that, and then begin to grasp the power that God has granted to us as the physical representation of His body….
…understanding that as an individual and collective manifestation of Christ on the earth, God wants to do exponentially more through us than He did through Christ by the same power, in the same measure, that raised Christ from the dead….
…we will be an unstoppable force in the world!
That is why Satan works so hard to veil our understanding of who we are!
When our identity becomes cloudy, our ability to live to the fullness of this prayer is halted. We must understand who we are and what our position is as children of God and the physical manifestation of Christ on the earth if we truly want to go forth and fulfill the Great Commission to its fullest!
Catch the rest of the series here:
Grab the journal to this study and get study questions after each chapter, plus the 30 Day Prayer Challenge for Ephesians and the Quiet Time with Jesus Study Worksheet.