Wisdom Wednesday: A Prayer for Wisdom Part

                                                            A Prayer for Wisdom – 3                                 

Submitted by Debbie’s Dad


    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 also 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 the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength

-Ephesians. 1:17-19

In the past two weeks, we looked at the opening prayers in Paul’s epistles to the believers in the churches at Philippi and Colosse. This week we look at Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus. 

Remember, his prayer for Philippi and Colosse was for them to gain spiritual wisdom to know God personally and His ways, to enable them to live worthy, pleasing, and fruitful lives. Similarly, this prayer reiterates these themes.

This prayer precedes a foundational statement of theology statement about the blessings of God in one long hypotactic sentence (verses 3-14). This long sentence structure (called a hypotactic )  is arranged with the main clause (“God be blessed” v. 3) that is supported by three phrases or subordinate clauses upon which the main clause depends. Here is the structure and summary of this amazing sentence:

God Be Blessed (main clause), Because:

1)      The Father (adopted us in the past) verses 3-6

  •       Blessed us in heaven, In Christ
  •  Chose us to be holy people
  •       Predestined us to adoption by Jesus
  •       According to His will

2)      The Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (redeemed us in the present) verses 7-10

  •   Redeemed us from sin, through His blood
  •  According to His grace
  •    Makes know His will

3)      The Spirit of promise (sealed us for our inheritance in the future) verses 11-14

  •       According to His will; that we are a testimony to God’s Glory
  •       Seals us and guarantees our inheritance

Following this fundamental statement of God’s works, Paul prays for the believers. After that introduction about God’s blessings, he thanks God for them in verse 16 (as he does for the believers in his other epistles Rom. 1:8; 1 Cor. 1:4; Phil. 1:3; Col. 1:3; 1 Thess. 1:2; 2 Thess. 1:3). Then, finally, he tells them what he is praying for them in verses 17-19:


First, He Prays for Wisdom to know God

In verse 17, he prays, as before, that that they will have spiritual wisdom and revelation to know God – to reveal the true God and His ways to each one of them personally. This is consistent in Paull’s prayers for the other churches – that the relatively new believers will grow closer to their Savior and Lord in a deeper relationship as they know Him and walk with Him. 

And, he prays they will realize the hope, riches, and power of their inheritance   

In verses 18 and 19, Paul prays that the “eyes of their heart” – their very being – will be opened to realize three things:

·       The hope to which we are called – our inheritance as adopted children of God

·       The riches of this eternal inheritance

·       The surpassing greatness of His power available to believers

In effect, Paul wanted the believers to grow in their knowledge of God, realizing what they have inherited as God’s adopted children!

The Essence of His Prayers for the first-century believers

Looking at these three prayers of Paul, we see a common theme of Paul’s desires for the churches. First, Paul prayed that the believers would grow in wisdom and understanding to know God better and know His will to live valuable and productive lives. Outward appearances cannot always measure such growth; instead, it exhibits themselves through the slow development of the Fruits of the Spirit. These can be found in Galatians 5:22. It is as if Paul was praying for all believers of all ages, including each of us.



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