Read: Ephesians 1:15-23
Consider: A few days ago we considered the first half of Ephesians 1 under the heading ‘Being faithful in Christ’. This second half of the chapter starts with Paul telling the Ephesian believers that he has heard about their faith and love (remember that Paul helped establish the church in Ephesus – Acts 19 and 20:13-38), so he was greatly encouraged by this news that they were strong in their faith.
While Paul was greatly encouraged by the news that the Ephesians were continuing in their faith, he didn’t use this to congratulate himself on how well he had done in teaching them while he was there. Instead he is so encouraged that it causes him to:
– give thanks for them;
– remember them in prayer (v16).
When you hear of other Christians and how God is blessing their ministry, are you encouraged by the news of their faith? Does this cause you to give thanks for them and to remember them in prayer? What about those you or your church supports financially – are you praying for them regularly? Many people will wait for a prayer letter, indicating the prayer needs of the person before praying, assuming it is better to pray knowledgeably about their needs.
Paul, however, gives us insight into how to pray for others on a regular basis, without having to wait for news from them before praying. In Ephesians 1:17 Paul says this: I keep asking 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 don’t think we can pray for anything more wonderful for our fellow Christians than that they ‘may know him better’. In fact we should also be praying this for ourselves.
Getting to know God better takes time and effort on our part. If we don’t spend time in God’s presence we can’t expect to get to know him better. Read what Paul wants the Ephesian believers to come to fully understand: 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 1:18-23).
So when praying for others and even yourself, pray that they and you may come to know God better, fully understanding the implications of having faith in Jesus Christ and what he has achieved for us.
Pray: Father, give us a heart’s desire to get to know you better. Make us willing to pray for other believers that they too may come to know you better. We pray also for our church fellowships that they may be characterised by a desire to get to know you better. Amen