I was just reading through Ephesians 1 tonight, and I was amazed at how powerful Paul’s prayer in the second half of chapter 1 is. You see, I had memorized Eph 1:1-4 for my Intro to New Testament II class recently. Those first fourteen verses are considered to be all about praise, where as starting at verse 15 until the end of the chapter is a prayer by Paul.Through Eph 1:1-4, I was reminded by the Lord of how genuinely and passionately Paul prayed for the Ephesians. For I recently also prayed through part of Eph 3 at New Attitude 08 during my Family Group time, and I was amazed how easy it is to just model my prayers after Paul’s. Keeping in mind that the Ephesians didn’t have such outrageous public sins as the Corinthians did, Paul’s letter to the saints in Ephesus was thus for the most part very encouraging compared to some of his other “harsh” letters.And so, in the midst of seeing such a good relationship with the Ephesians in chapter 1, I have been challenged to a similar fervency of prayer in my own life: how I need to pray that the Lord would give my loved ones and close friends his Spirit — that God would give them the wisdom of God, to have their spiritual eyes opened, to know God’s hope, his calling, his inheritance in us, the immeasurable greatness of his power in us, etc. I’ve been praying this prayer over and over, and I hope that it reaches to all my dear friends and family in the Lord: those near and far, in Canada, in the US, and wherever else.I love you with the affections that Christ has loved me with, and sincerely beg that the God would bless you abundantly wherever you are, whatever you are doing.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
On this section the ESV Literary Study Bible (Ryken and Ryken) reads:
Every spiritual blessing in Christ [ chapter 1 ]. After the customary apostolic greeting, Ephesians begins with an exuberant celebration of all the blessings that believers have in Jesus Christ. Verses 3???14 constitute a single run-on sentence in the original Greek, giving the passage a strong sense of forward momentum. In *rhetoric soaring with superlatives, Paul catalogs the multiple benefits of salvation, from our predestination in eternity past to our glorious destiny in eternity future. The logical structure of these verses is strongly Trinitarian: the salvation administered according to the Father???s plan is accomplished by the Son???s redemption and applied by the Spirit???s guarantee. In verse 15 the apostle shifts from praise to prayer as he thanks God for the Ephesians and intercedes for the church to know the glorious riches that are their inheritance in the risen Christ. The mood of the chapter is sustained exaltation, to the glory of God.