Saturday 4 January, 2014
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Paul’s commitment to pray persistently for the church at Ephesus is so impressive. You can see how purposeful his prayer is. Firstly, he prays that the Spirit will enable them to know Jesus Christ better. Secondly, Paul indicates what will flow on from knowing Jesus better i.e. the hope of an amazing inheritance in His kingdom, and the reality of the great power which resides within each one of his readers.
This power for which Paul prays is defined as exactly the same power [dunamis] which the Father used to raise Jesus from the dead and enthrone him at His side. What kind of power we might ask? Paul answers that for us by describing it as superior to any other kind of power throughout the earth and the universe.
The next thing his readers needed know is that Jesus Christ has been installed as the Head of the church with unsurpassed power and authority. As believers we are part of this as Christ’s body through which He fills everything.
What an incredible impact this prayer of Paul must have had on the Ephesian believers! For us the question is [a] do I recognise that this kind of power resides within me & my church through the presence of the Spirit of God? [b] If so, is there any limit to the impact my life should make in the world? It’s a challenge isn’t it? But, it is more than a reality for you and for me.
Paul speaks here to the corporate body of believers, so he is grateful for the impact this body is making and will continue to make on the whole community in Ephesus. The same applies to us as the body of Jesus Christ here in C3 church Carlingford. We know the better we know Jesus Christ, the more effective our outreach into our community will be.
Written by Keith Bennett
It is interesting that Paul’s prayer for wisdom and revelation was a regular supplication, it seems to be progressive.
‘Wisdom’ can be defined as the ability to make right choices and ‘revelation’ is the ability to know something that was not previously evident.
It seems the effective use of God’s ‘dunamis’ requires these two characteristics.
Thanks Keith, I have enjoyed reading your posts!