Summary: This sermon deals with spiritual wisdom and enlightenment and how to apply God’s wisdom to daily living.

Paul’s Prayer for Wisdom

Scripture Studied: Ephesians 1:15-23, James 1:5


When I was growing up, I knew most of the popular Bible stories. I knew of Adam and Eve eating the fruit when God told them not to, I knew of Noah and the Ark, I knew of Samson and Delilah, David and Goliath, etc… I knew some facts that took place in history. I knew a few Bible verses including John 3:16. But Did I know God? Years later I realized that I just knew the facts. I didn’t KNOW God. Knowing God is the most important thing and the facts alone are not enough.

In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul prays to God, he didn’t just pray once, he continued often in prayer for the Ephesians. He kept asking God to give them wisdom to live as His people. (v.17). Paul asked God to give His people “the spirit of Wisdom and revelation, so they may know You better” (v17). It’s all about knowing Him!

Opening Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for the awesome opportunity to come before such a magnificent God. We know that you are the source of Wisdom, and so we pray as Paul did. Please give to us your wisdom and revelation, so we may know You better. Please do not hold back any good thing from your people. Through your Word, teach us your ways guide us in the way of truth. We ask these things in the Name of Jesus, Amen.


Paul prayed that the people would know three things as a result of knowing God:

[1] The 1st request Paul prayed was that we would know “The hope to which God has called Us” v.18

Knowing that the Lord gives us hope in this life, and hope for heaven with Him we are able to press on. The definition of “hope” in the Bible is something very different from our common interpretation of the word . Paul was not using the word to mean “wish”. Instead, “hope” in the scripture means confident expectation. Our hope in God is sure because He is sure. To some of us, hope may be a far-off abstraction, because it has to do with the future while we live in the present. But hope is very meaningful to us, hope tells us that when we fail, God picks us up again and again and gives us another chance.

[2] The 2nd request Paul prayed, was for us to know “The riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” v.18

The “saints” are all Christians. All those who have received Christ and the redemption He provides. Our “inheritance” is what we receive as children of God. Some of these benefits are listed in my study “Give me Five”. The knowledge that we are chosen by God and that He sees us holy and blameless; the privilege of being adopted into His family, the forgiveness of sin. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would fully understand these benefits. In this life no one will fully understand and appreciate them, but we can continue to grow in our understanding.

[3] With the 3rd request, He finishes his prayer by describing:

“His [God’s] incomparably great power for us who believe” v.19

The Bible teaches that we have available to us the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. At first we may think, “O Yeah, now we’re gonna get what we want!”

God does not offer us His power to use for our own ambitions. He is strong on our behalf, working out what is good for us, but we are in submission to His power, not in control: “God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church” v.22. Because He is all powerful, nothing can snatch us out of His care, nothing can hurt us without his permission and no temptation has final say over us. You may feel incapable and stumble in many areas of your life, but God is at work for you. Your ability to cope with life is up to the power of God, not up to your uncertain skills.

A final note on wisdom and knowledge: In the Bible, “knowledge” usually has to do with the perception of truth, while “wisdom” is the practical application of truth to real life situations.

“Wisdom is the God given ability to perceive the true nature of a matter and implement the will of God in that matter” (Quote by Larry Lea, Wisdom pg.14).

This is why Paul prayed all the time. He knew that we needed to know God to tap into His wisdom so that we may live godly and pleasing lives unto the Lord.


You can know God’s truth and wisdom, then you can apply it to your life and please the Lord. Through His wisdom you can know the hope to which God has called Us, the riches of his glorious inheritance, and God’s incomparably great power.

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