Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:15–23
Paul closed out chapter one by sharing how thankful he was for the Ephesian believers and by offering a heartfelt prayer for them. In verse 15, Paul acknowledged the Ephesians’ love for God and love for others, the saints. Now that the believers in Ephesus knew the spiritual blessings they had in Christ (vv. 3-14), Paul prayed for them to know God in an intimate and personal way in verse 16. He asked that the Holy Spirit would give wisdom and revelation to know God, because the Holy Spirit is the One who opens our eyes to truth (Isaiah 11:2).
In verses 18 and 19, Paul prayed that their hearts would be enlightened to three things: First, the hope we received upon belief in Christ through salvation. Second, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints—at the end of days God will receive all those who believed in Him. Third, God’s power for those who believe in Him—not just power but the immeasurable greatness of his power. A supernatural force, alive and working for us. God’s great power is available to all believers.4
In verses 20–23, Paul described God’s power by showing how that power was worked out in Christ. First, God’s power was seen in a mighty way when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavens. This same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to all of those who believe in Christ (Romans 8:11). This power is an inexhaustible resource for us as we try to live out the Christian faith, which we will learn more about in Ephesians chapters 4–6. Second, we learn that through the power of God, He placed all things under Christ’s feet. Christ is over all creation. Third, we learn that Christ is the head over the church—the universal church, consisting of all believers from all time, everywhere. The church is Christ’s body, and He is the head of the body (Ephesians 4:15, 5:23; Colossians 1:18).
Paul’s heart for the Ephesians was clearly demonstrated in this beautiful prayer. He longed for them to know God intimately and to understand His power worked out through Christ, which is available to all believers. Close out today’s reading by praying a prayer like Paul’s for your fellow believers.