Summary: paul praying for the ephesians that they may see the spiritual realities
Prayer for enlightenment
Paul desired the Ephesian Christians to understand what great wealth they had in Christ.
In the prison prayers of Paul Ephesians 1.15-23; 3.14-21; phil.1.9-11; col.1.9-12 his emphasis is on spiritual perception and Christian character.
In none of these prayers does Paul request material things.
Paul explained how rich we are and our spiritual blessings, now he is praying that the Holy Spirit will enlighten our inner eyes to see those blessings.
Before we study Paul’s prayer we notice two things
1. Enlightenment comes from the Holy Spirit
With our natural mind we can’t understand the things of God. We need the spirit to enlighten us 1 cori.2.9-16
The Holy Spirit reveals the truth to us from the Word , and then gives us the wisdom to understand apply it.
2. Enlightment comes in the heart of the believer
in the bible , the heart means the inner man , and includes the emotions ,the mind , and the will.
The eyes of the heart must be opened by the spirit of god.
Paul prays that Ephesian believers ‘ eyes may be opened to see these spiritual realities .
Prayer is the thermometer of the soul.
If you want to know what a man believes tell me what he says and what he prays.
I. To know Him better..................
He is writing and praying for believers already have some knowledge about God .
The particular word translates as ………….to know deeply, personally, intimately
Example: know president bush… know my wife …
Three things in verse 17
A] keep on asking ………
Pray, pray without ceasing, pray with fervency
Before we ask or even think God knows them why pray?
We express our total dependence on God
He is God and we are not ….
B] Only God can give us what we really and truly need
We have the Holy Spirit but we need to pray that the H.S. will grant us the wisdom.
We need to understand the things of God.
C] To know God better …
Three levels of knowing God
1. Level of experience ………. All of us have some kind of experience that can help others too.
But the experiences should be aligned with the word of God .2Peter1.16-21
2. Level of knowledge …getting from fellowship, church bible reading, good books
3. Level of wisdom…. “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge “
Wisdom is the ability to choose right
Wisdom has two parts 1. it has lot to say 2. Not to say it
James 3.13-18 says the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
The real peace will come only when we know god, His character and purposes.
When we see things through god’s eyes and less through our eyes we will have perfect peace and right perspective.
Paul in Philippians 3.10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
II.… the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
If you are blind there is no dark or light
There are people spiritually blind ….Once we were like that 2Pet.2.9
Christ is the center of everything if you need to see that our eyes should be open .
Ray p Richard “living for Christ is like a football game ; you either on the bench or you are in the game”
When you eyes were open you see things as Jesus saw …people , problems, sin ,world
Isiah 6 Heavenly vision ….
Inward vision….Outward vision
Zacheas … when he saw Jesus his priority changed, attitude changed, purpose changed
One encounter with God will change our destiny ..Paul
III. ….You will know
When the eyes were opened 3 things will happen
1. We will know all that God has given…V.18a
The hope that which has called you ….
Chapter 1.3-14 says some of the elements of that hope
Remember the blessing of father chosen us adopted us accepted us
Blessings of son redeemed us , forgave us ,revealed His will to us , made us an inheritance
Blessings of the Holy Spirit , sealed us gave us the earnest of the spirit .
All these blessings are ours but we need to understand how rich we are
Illustration.. beggar with gold plate … mother kept checks
2. All that God has promised …..the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints …
This look ahead when we see Jesus face to face and receive all that he has promised .
What glorious moment ……….. wonder how heaven look like
The glory of heaven is not the streets of gold, the gates of pearl or even river of life .. the glory of heaven is Jesus 1 cori.2.9