Paul’s prayer for illumination by the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 1 asks for revelation in three vital truths. Like the legs of a tripod, each is a source of great strength for every Christian. We already considered the hope of His calling and the riches of glory that belong to every believer. The third request in Paul’s prayer tripod is a prayer for power.
3. Prayer for Power
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet . . . (Eph. 1:18-22)
When Paul gets excited, words gush from his pen. At the core of his prayer is one ungrammatically long sentence in the Greek. When he states his third prayer for the Ephesians, he floods the page with four words: power, working, might, and strength. And they are not just words, Paul says each aspect of that power was evident as Jesus burst from the tomb and ascended to the highest seat of authority in the universe. The phrase is a declaration of the fulfillment of prophecies about the coming Messiah1. Paul’s point is that God’s power is the dominant force in all creation, quite capable of the ultimate miracle.
Paul did not ask God to dispense His power to Christians. That was unnecessary because it is already acting “toward us who believe.” God gave Christ to the church; as head of the church, His power is at our disposal. Like the Ephesians, we need a revelation of God’s immense resources so that we can “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might”2.
In other prayers, Paul picks up on the same theme. He prays that God would strengthen us with His power through the Holy Spirit. That power working within us results in God doing “exceeding abundantly” in our lives and ministries3. We need His power to live good lives and to see works of faith bear fruit4. Paul was very conscious that God empowered him to preach the riches of Christ5. He knew that he could succeed in whatever assignment God had for him6.
Allow God to open the eyes of your heart to His power. Knowing the availability of that power is a tremendous source of security. It’s there for you and your church to accomplish all that is in His will for you.
Do you know anyone who would benefit from Bible devotions like this? Please share Bible Maturity with them.