Thinking of your latest prayers, what do they primarily consist of? Are they laced with praise and adoration, thanksgiving, and peppered highly with your personal requests? Or are they the quick kind thrown up only when you meet the unexpected pot holes of life and you could use a little extra helping hand?
No matter what your prayers look like, whether they are the cookie-cutter variety, shaped by our concerns or worries, or those seasoned highly with praise for the Father, God welcomes our prayers. He offers us an open invitation to come boldly unto Him, to cast all of concerns, and to ask what we want.
I’ve been camping out in the book of Ephesians for some time now and Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15-20 has been one of the passages that keep drawing my eyes for closer inspection. Paul points out that he has included prayers for the people in Ephesus consistently.
Three Key Areas Paul’s Prayer Focused
- Spiritual Wisdom and insight
- Hearts flooded with light (revelation)
- Understanding of God’s power
Each of these areas Paul asked for on behalf of the people had a specific purpose. He didn’t ask God to give them spiritual wisdom and insight so that they could look lofty to others but rather so that they might know God more.
I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. Eph 1:16-17 (NLT)
In fact, Scripture warns us that knowledge puffs up but love builds up. While we may not start off our reading and studying of scripture with the aim to impress others, if we are not careful, it can be one of the things we use to divide and elevate ourselves from others.
Paul prayed that fresh light would shine in dark areas so that they might not just hear about hope but they may fully grasp the confident hope God has called them to. You see we can have accepted Christ but still have areas of lack of knowledge or things we heard many times but it hasn’t been personally revealed to us.
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called-his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. Eph 1:18 (NLT)
Lastly Paul focused his prayer on understanding God’s power. He wanted them to be aware that this powerful God wasn’t just one exerting his power around them but He uses this power to work through them. I like the way The Voice Bible says verse 19a, “let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe”.
Those same three areas Paul deemed fit to pray consistently on the behalf of the believers in Ephesus are still needed for us today. No matter how long you’ve been journeying with Jesus, there’s always more to learn about him, always places we can use more illumination of His truths, and always areas where we are viewing God too small.
Linking up here:
Related articles: What Others Are Sharing About Prayer
- Praying About the Dumb Stuff (sharonsharinggod.blogspot.com)
- Q & A with Rick Hamlin on Prayer (andrealschultz.blogspot.com)
- The Power of the Memorized Word (swanvalleytammi.blogspot.com)