15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (Ephesians 1:17-21 NKJV)
How do we pray? What should we pray for? What does your church pray for during prayer meetings? For Jane’s recovery from illness, for Jim’s job, for Jenny’s travels, for Jack’s studies, etc? Don’t get me wrong. God is interested in every detail of our lives. But observe the 5 things that the Apostle Paul asks for in his prayers for the Ephesians in Eph 1:17-21
- that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ …may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (v17)
- that “the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened” (v18);
- That “.. you may know what is the hope of His calling” (v18)
- that you may know “… the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (v18)
- That you may know ..”the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places…” (19)
Why does the Apostle Paul ask for the above 5 things for the Ephesians? Because when we have the above 5 things, our perspective towards God, prayer & everything in this life will be totally different. Our petitions will not be man-oriented but God-centred. Our motivations will be “for His glory” and not ours.
Isn’t this how did our Lord Jesus taught us to pray? …”Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” It’s all about God and not us. When we have sorted out that priority, we will also understand what Jesus meant when He told us “..seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto us..” May God teach us how we should pray.