- Chris Crosby
Praying Powerful Prayers
Prayer lists, chores lists, grocery lists, honey-do lists, outlook task lists, and on and on they go. Whether we love them or hate them, lists abound.
Many people require lists to keep them organized while providing a sense of accomplishment when crossing something off as complete. Others dread them and feel confined, even stymied just at the notion. The Apostle Paul uses lists as he prays for the saints in Ephesians 1:15-23.
Paul prays for the church in Ephesus and creates a beautiful and powerful list of prayer points for us to emulate. He prays:
1. That God would give them the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. (Verse 17)
2. That the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened. (verse 18)
3. That they would know what is the hope to which they were called (verse 18)
4. For them to grasp the riches of His glorious inheritance they have received (verse 18)
5. For them to fully comprehend how immeasurable the greatness of His power is toward them (verse 19)
Not only is Paul praying for the believers, he does so unceasingly. Paul admonishes believers to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17) and he clearly demonstrates that here. Isn’t it interesting that Paul starts praying for them once he hears of their faith? How often do we pray for people when they are strong in their faith? Usually we begin praying when we hear of someone struggling. However, as Paul demonstrates, praying for those standing strong proves just as important. When we are walking in faith, the enemy of our soul is more likely to attack. A prayer covering is exactly what is needed.
Paul’s requests relate to their relationship with God and understanding of their position in Christ. His first point petitions for a spirit of wisdom and understanding. The book of Proverbs is filled with verses about wisdom, knowledge and understanding (revelation). Knowledge and wisdom are not the same thing. Knowledge and understanding are the inputs, while wisdom is the output or application of understanding. God promises multiplied blessings for those seeking knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 3:13-24) and Paul desires the Ephesians (and us) to experience those blessings through an understanding of their relationship with Christ.
In the remainder of his list, Paul emphasizes the incredible gifts received as followers of Christ. He reminds believers of hope, riches, inheritance, and God’s power. To fully embrace those gifts, they must anchor back to the spirit of wisdom and understanding. The word revelation (verse 17) is the Greek word apokalysis which means to suddenly reveal or to become clear. Paul is asking God to reveal to them how bountifully rich they are based on their relationship with Christ.
Paul provides a great list of prayer points. We should pray for our loved one’s relationship with Christ, for their understanding to be enlightened and for them to grasp how rich is their inheritance in Christ.