January 2, 2017

Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Paul’s various prayers recorded in his letters are excellent examples for us to follow in how to pray for each other. It is when our prayers are in line with God’s will that we can have full assurance that they will be granted, and nothing could be more in line with God’s will than what is expressed here. God wants us to know Him, or He would never have sent His Son to let us know what He is like. However, God is so far beyond us that it takes the help of the Holy Spirit to be able to get a handle on Him at all, and that’s what this is talking about. Everything else flows from knowing God, so that’s where we need to start. The rest of this prayer could be said to be an amplification of what is actually included in this one verse. We come to know God through His Word, through our experiences, and through the testimony of others, but in all of that we need the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit or we are entirely likely to misinterpret things. We need to ask, for ourselves and for others, that God would pour out His Holy Spirit, who provides the wisdom and revelation we need to grasp who God is, what He has done for us, and who we are in Him.

As a pastor I am constantly praying some variation of this prayer for the people in my care, but it would probably be helpful for me to come back to this specific passage and appropriate these words as my own prayer. It breaks my heart to see people decline the riches God has provided for them, stumbling along in poverty of spirit, seeking to fill the void in their life with things and feelings rather than with God Himself. I need to pray this prayer for them, because it’s for sure I can’t give them wisdom and revelation on my own! I delight to share the Word with people, but I desire even more that they learn to take it in for themselves, and choose to do so regularly. However, I have tried until I was blue in the face to get people to develop a regular habit of personal devotions, and have simply proved that I can’t force anyone to do anything. However, I can pray for them, and I must do so faithfully. God has proved time and time again that nothing is impossible for Him, so I need to pray with assurance and joy for His will to be done.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the good service yesterday and for the Word You spoke through me. I pray that we would all rejoice to be chosen by You and respond with both gratitude and obedience, so that we may welcome Your Spirit and allow You to transform us into the children and servants You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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