Prayer for Illumination

prayer for illumination

Image courtesy of Simon Howden /

Roman prisons forced letter writers to get to the point. Prisoners were grateful when friends and family brought food; stationary supplies were a luxury. When Paul put pen to parchment, he didn’t waste words. His letter to the Ephesian church is no exception.

Following a quick greeting, Paul laid out some basic truths of the faith—foundational blessings: We are God’s adopted children, blessed with every spiritual blessing. We are redeemed through Jesus’ blood and sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He then told them what he prayed ceaselessly for them. There is no mention of material provision, health, effectiveness in evangelism so their church will grow, or freedom from suffering. Those are good prayer topics, but Paul singled out one request:

“. . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened . . .” (Eph. 1:17-18)

Paul’s priority was a prayer for illumination in the deepest part of their being.1 The focus of the spiritual revelation was knowing God and all that God has done for and made available to His people.

The knowledge he requests doesn’t fit in a brain but in a heart. It cannot be taught adequately using a white board or PowerPoint. The Holy Spirit unveils it.2 Such knowledge of God is accurate, but it is also experiential and relational.

When time is a rationed luxury, what better thing is there to pray for yourself and others? The God we are to know is no ogre hiding in heavenly shadows waiting to punish us for our flaws and misdeeds. No, God is our Father and He lavishes spiritual blessings upon children that He adopted at vast cost. Revelation of such a God is the best thing we could ask for.

Do you know anyone who would benefit from Biblical devotions like this? Please share Bible Maturity with them.

  1. Paul’s prayer for the Colossians contains similar words, Col. 1:9 []
  2. Matt. 16:17; John 14:25-26; 16:13-15 []

One thought on “Prayer for Illumination

  1. I.J. West

    Outstanding write and just like Paul it gets right to the point. God bless you and thank you for these words of encouragement my brother.


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