Summary: Paul’s prayer for the people in the Ephesian’s church was one that should challenge our own walk today.
The Apostles Prayer
Intro: The apostle Paul was pleased and thankful for the faith in Christ and love for each other he had heard of at the Ephesian church. Now he would pray for them to be further enlightened in their understanding of God and themselves.
What did Paul pray for them?
(V. 17) A “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.”
Wisdom: (sophia) deep, artistic, skillful knowledge of a thing; like that of an expert craftsman.
Revelation: Lit (unveiling) to behold something previously unseen.
**What he prays for this faithful, loving church is that they would go much deeper in their understanding and behold the unveiled gloves of their God!
Illustrate: Hot Water Tank: The burner beneath the tank is to a hot water tank what the “spirit of wisdom and revelation” is to our knowledge of God.
The contents within the tank remain the same with or without its heat source. However, when the burner is lit, the quality of the contents improves dramatically.
(V. 18) “eyes of your understanding (heart) being enlightened”.
This is spiritual eyesight.
**He prays for God to improve their spiritual eyesight that we may “know” fully three truths that transform.
TRANSITION ***** PAUSE: Sometimes we think we know something just because we’ve heard the words before. Pray for God to answer Paul’s prayer.
I. (v 18b) Know The Hope Of His Calling
What hope do believers have being the called of God?
A. Present Hope: The greatest hope I can imagine is the hope of constant companionship with Jesus Christ Himself!
Colossians 1:27 : Christ IN you, the hope of glory.
John 17:20-23 : Perfect oneness in Christ, among believers and WITHIN believers (v.23).
**There is no such thing as a single christian!
2 Corinthians 5:17 : New creation, old has passed, all is new
B. Future Hope: Romans 8:16-17: Children, heirs, GLORY
II. (v. 18b) Know The Riches Of His Inheritance
We have been given inheritance of all God has through Jesus Christ.
**He has an inheritance also, it is you! He has literally “made you His portion.”
**His portion, pleasure, and esteem are for His family. What He treasures is us!
Question: What are the “riches” of His inheritance?
The richness is found in the quality and diversity of each item He treasures.
** You can determine to shine for Him, out of a grateful spirit for all He has done and who He is.
Illustrate: My son is my treasured possession, he honors me by loving my company and wanting to be like me.
III. (v19) Know The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power
hyperballon - throwing far beyond what is necessary. ONLY Paul used this term.
Illustrate: Jet engines on the van. “I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me”.
** He has given each one of us far beyond the necessary strength to carry on His business here and now.
Can we resist sin?
Can we obey His commands?
Can we love one another?
Can we evangelize the world?
Can we forgive?
His power is more than enough equipment to honor Him with our lives.
We have exceeding power, but only One has authority. (V 22)
Do children lead their parents? Some do, and the result is pitiful.
Do sheep lead their shepherd? Some do and are gutted by wolves.