What a great way to start a letter. Praises for the Father’s lavished blessings, salvation through the Son, and for the gift of the Spirit. Then, Paul opens a window into his prayer life for the Ephesian church. The view shows the glory of God as the radiant centrepiece, and a prayer point that’s important enough to keep asking God for (Eph 1:3-16).
Sometimes the Lord nudges us to stop asking. Not necessarily because the request is wrong, but because the issue is serving something bigger than the answer we’re asking for. Paul’s thorn-removal prayer in 2 Cor 12 is an example. But it’s generally right to persevere in asking and, according to Jesus, necessary (Lk 18:1).
There are some asking points that are always good, relevant, and important enough to keep asking for. The one Paul mentions is: asking for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph 1:17).
By wisdom, we see life more clearly: the Lord’s perspective affecting thoughts, decision making and actions.
By revelation, we see the Lord more clearly: who he is, what he is like, what he has done and will do.
The power to see the Lord and the issues of living more clearly is beyond the realm of human study or self-effort. It’s generously given by the Spirit to hearts that won’t be satisfied by substitutes. Not a one-time gift; the Lord increases the ‘seeing’ in answer to ongoing asking.
The first (wisdom) will always point to our need of the second (revelation of him), and wisdom carries revelation into living.
There’s a global assault on truth, belief in God’s Word, and the values and lifestyle of Christ’s Kingdom. As darkness thickens, light must strengthen (Is 60:1-2). It’s always been an urgent asking point, but never more so than now: for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. And to keep asking for it – for power to see the Lord clearly, and to navigate life’s issues in a way that draws attention to his glory.
A good way to advocate for an answer is to give the Father our reasons for asking (it’s part of building our agreement with him). When Paul says, the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, it isn’t an additional request, but part of the unpacking of good reasons for his revelation request (1:17-22).
We are more likely to ask this for others when we keep asking it for ourselves.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation
- Use this verse as a conversation point with the Lord throughout the week ahead, initially changing the give you to give ME.
- Give the Father your good reasons for asking (or, read v17-23 and echo Paul’s reasons).
- Talk to the Lord about your desire that the eyes of your heart will see him more clearly, and the amazing things he has done for you (especially the view of his great power for us 1:19-23).
- Tell the Lord of your longing to live wisely, to view all of life through his eyes. Ask for the Spirit’s power to work the revelation of him into living. Keep asking for it.