Lately, I have been praying for wisdom and direction in my life.
Recently, I stumbled across an “assignment” I had done for a Bible study. The assignment was to read Ephesians 1:17-19 and break down the different parts of the passage to really understand what it says.
Coming upon this passage of Scripture and what I had written was quite timely for me, and I would like to share these verses and the truth in them with you:
This prayer was written by Paul (we learned a bit about Paul in a previous post.) to followers of Jesus.
Let's break it down:
I keep asking - Be active and persistent in seeking God.
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father – glorious means “entitled to great renown” and “completely enjoyable”. This is a beautiful description of God.
He is our Father. We can turn to Him and know He will love and care for us.
may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation – this verse doesn't say just “wisdom and revelation”, but rather “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation”, that which is of God and can only be found in Him.
so that you may know Him better – the ultimate and final purpose in seeking wisdom and revelation is to know Jesus better, not merely to make good decisions.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened – When I first read this phrase, I thought it was just another way of asking for wisdom and revelation. But notice how it says “I pray also”, or in addition to. If this is in addition to praying for wisdom, it must mean something a bit different.
Proverbs 4:24 defines the heart as “the wellspring of life”. We can “take things to heart”. We can have our hearts broken. The heart is often the symbol of love. Out of the overflow of the heart, we speak (Luke 6:45). We are to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:24).
The eyes are often metaphorically used as a spiritual entrance to the life. If your eyes are bad, your body will be full of darkness. If they are good, the body will be filled with light (Luke 11:33-36).
Enlightened simply means “to lighten”, or, metaphorically, “made to understand”.
So this is a prayer that the eyes, the spiritual entrance, of the heart, that deep part of us that takes things in and then pours them out, will be lightened so that the whole will be full of light. God's wisdom isn't just for making good decisions, but for transforming the heart and making us into His light in the world.
in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you – Once again, there is a specific purpose behind the prayer. And once again, it is about Jesus; knowing the hope to which He has called us.
Hope (from the Greek word elpis) means “favorable and confidant expectation, a forward look with assurance ”. It also means “to expect something desired with confidence”.
By having the eyes of our heart enlightened, we may know this favorable expectation, this desired something, and be assured and confident of it's coming.
So what is it that we are expecting and desiring? The next two phrases tell us:
the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints – Romans 8 says we are sons of God and heirs with Christ, so through the Holy Spirit, we partake in the same inheritance as Christ: eternal life, abundant life, freedom from sin and death.
This inheritance is rich and glorious. Remember one of the definitions for glorious above: “completely enjoyable”.
This inheritance is in the saints. A saint isn't just someone who prays the right prayers or is officially given the title. All who believe in Christ are saints, so this inheritance is for us. We pray we are full of light so we can truly see, expect with confidence, and experience the the richness of the life we have in Christ.
and His incomparably great power for us who believe – Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Now that's power! And through Christ, it is available to us. We can be all He has called us to be. We pray that we may know this power, so we can live in it.
After studying this passage, I see that praying for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and praying that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened, is more than just asking for knowledge to make good decisions. It is asking to know Jesus more and know His will for me, so I may live the life Christ intended, a life centered and defined in Him, rich and glorious and powerful.
The post My Prayer: Wisdom first appeared on The Overflowing
All Scriptures taken from the NIV
Greek words and definitions from The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible by James Strong, Copyright 2010
Dictionary.com (definition of glorious, definition of enlightened and definition of hope)