Ephesians 1:17-19 has become my favorite prayer to pray for myself and my family. I can’t think of anything more important to pray than the prayer that Paul prayed for His beloved Ephesian church. The Ephesian church was a faith-filled, loving church, and Paul loved and prayed for them. Think about what he prayed and wanted for them. He wanted them to experience the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.
No Prayer Compares to My Favorite Prayer
Wisdom means intelligence. The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament says this term speaks of the knowledge of diverse matters which belongs to man and of supreme intelligence that belongs to God.
The Bible is filled with the topic of wisdom. Wisdom given by God always caused an elevation in knowledge, understanding, abilities, wealth, and honor. No doubt having wisdom is as Solomon wrote, better than rubies; and all things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. (Proverbs 8:11) Wisdom is a top shelf quality and attribute that we all need. But wisdom by itself is lacking. Paul did not pray that they have wisdom only, but wisdom AND revelation. That is the ultimate combination.
Revelation and Knowledge
Revelation in the original Greek language is the noun, apokalupsis. It expresses a laying bear or naked, a disclosure of truth. It can even mean a manifestation or appearance. Notice that Paul prayed for wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. We need God’s wisdom, God’s revelation, and we need the knowledge of God. The word knowledge is transliterated, epignosis. Many times the word knowledge comes from the word gnosis, but the term epignosis is more intense than gnosis and “expresses a more thorough participation in the acquiring of knowledge on the part of the learner.” (Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament. Page 225) – Here is a list of my favorite Bible Study resources.
While Paul prayed for God to give the Ephesian church wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, he also prayed for their participation. That is faith in God lived out. We participate in the faith journey. God gives to each of us as believers in Christ a measure of faith, yet calls us to participate in the journey. We seek. He enlightens. This brings us to the next segment of Paul’s prayer. He prayed that “the eyes of their understanding be enlightened.”
The word understanding deals with the mind and our intellect. Take a moment to reflect back over the specific terms we have defined so far: wisdom, revelation, knowledge, and understanding. If we gain those four things in our faith journey, I would say, we are good. We have all that we need to live an amazing life in Christ. That is exactly why Paul prayed this because the next thing we see in Ephesians 1:18 is the reason Paul prayed it. He wanted them to know the hope of God’s calling and the glorious riches of His inheritance in the saints.
My Favorite Prayer = Great Rewards
The way I see it is, God’s wisdom, revelation, knowledge, and understanding given to us is how we know His calling and experience the rich reward of His inheritance. This is why this is my favorite prayer to pray for myself, my husband, my adult daughters, their spouses, and my grandchildren. There truly is nothing that I want more for myself and those I love the most than this to be fulfilled in their life. I want us to know what Paul knew, the exceeding greatness of His power toward us.
- If you need specific prayers to pray for your children, print off the prayers from the blog post, Prayers for Children written by a long time friend and member of my On Fire Team, Debbie Takewell.
I challenge you to pray Ephesians 1:17-19 for yourself and those you love. Memorize it. Declare it. Pray it. And watch how God reveals Himself in your life. As you take this challenge and begin to watch God work and reveal Himself, I want to hear your testimony. I encourage you to share that testimony in the comments. Your testimony may be what someone else needs to hear.