“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 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. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:17-19
In Ephesians 1, Paul lays out a prayer for the church of Ephesus. While most of his letters addressed specific problems in a church, Ephesians rather highlights some essential themes (or doctrines) of the Christian faith. Throughout this book, Paul focuses on the power and love of God for His people, and he especially highlights these aspects in his prayer in Ephesians 1:17-19.
Paul tells the Ephesians that he is praying that God would give his followers “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that [they] may know him better.” He asks that their hearts would be enlighted in order to “know the hope to which he has called [them], the riches of his glorious inheritance […] and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (v. 17). Paul continually references God’s power at work in us who believe, and reminds us even today how that power manifests itself in God’s deep desire to love us and for us to love Him.
We cannot come to know, love, and understand God in our own strength. Instead, it is through the Spirit that we are able to be enlightened to the hope and love of God. Through the Spirit, it becomes obvious that God’s love for us is so great that He would move heaven and earth, send His son to die and then raise him from the dead, and give us every opportunity to come to know Him.
As we continue to follow Jesus, Paul’s prayer is one we can pray for ourselves and for the people we love. As we ask for wisdom, revelation, enlightenment, and understanding, God will graciously grant us those gifts so we can understand more fully His great love for us. How incredible it is to know that God longs to love us even more than we could ever desire to love Him!