Prayer is the air we breathe as Christians. For Paul, it was an ongoing conversation with his heavenly Father. He never ceased. What did he pray for? In the opening of Ephesians, he gives us a glimpse into his prayer for the young church. He prayed for God the Father to give them gifts…
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… (Eph 1:16-17a, ESV)
What gifts did he ask for God to give?
First, he asked for the church to receive “the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation.” Paul knew the church needed the Holy Spirit and in particular that the Spirit would give them wisdom and the ability to understand revelation. Revelation is in reference to God revealing himself.
Second, he asked for “the eyes of your hearts enlightened.” Our hearts are DOA until we come to know Jesus. The “heart” is our inner being, our soul, our spiritual eyes so to speak. We need our heart to wake up and come back to life. Then is can be enlightened. What is the enlightenment that Paul wants for it? That’s the next gift.
Third, he wants to “know what is the hope to which he has called you…” Our hearts need to wake up to hope. So many of us walk through our lives in worry and fear because we live as ones with no hope. We have been “called” and as such “destined“. These twin realities give us hope.
Fourth, Paul also wants us to know of the “riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…” We are part of a congregation, a great cloud of witnesses, the church. In connection with the church we have a great inheritance. We cannot fully embrace the inheritance which is ours apart from being connected to the body.
Finally, he asks that God would help us to know “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…” Life for the Christian is not lived on our own strength. We are able to live under the power of God. This means that we can rest and trust. It means that as we work, we do so relying on God’s strength and power in faith.
As you think about these gifts, which one jumps out to you as something that you need right now? Which one have you experienced recently?