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 the 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 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.
- Ephesians 115-23 - ESV
Do you remember the last time that you were given detailed instructions only to find yourself lost by the time you were half-way through the presentation? This could have been when you started a new job, asked someone for directions, bought a new phone, or were trying to learn how to use Excel. It happens often in life, and most of the time we settle for never fully understanding what we needed to know. We simply didn't “get it”.
This could be the reason Paul moves immediately to prayer following his doctrinally rich doxology in verses 3 through 14, which contain crucial doctrine essential for the spiritual well-being of every Believer. So important, that Paul moves immediately to prayer asking “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him”. Paul’s prayer is that the through the work of the Holy Spirit, the Father would give wisdom and a clear knowledge that is rooted in the heart – he wants us to really “get it”. Simply put, Paul is asking for spiritual eyesight - “Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened”.
So what does this spiritual eyesight involve? First, it looks to the past with a true understanding of God’s call – “that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you”. Paul is clearly praying that the Ephesians would understand the blessing that they have in being chosen by God in eternity past. John Stott puts it this way, “He called us to Christ and Holiness, to freedom and peace, to suffering and glory. More simply it was a call to an altogether new life in which we know, love, obey and serve Christ, enjoy fellowship with him and with each other, and look beyond our suffering to the glory that will one day be revealed”.
Second, Paul’s prayer includes a request for spiritual eyesight looking into the future or, “What are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints”. Remember the best is yet to come when all things on heaven and on earth are made new and united in Christ. Again form John Stott, “God’s inheritance will not be a little private party for each individual but rather “among the saints” as we join the “great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” That is good news!
Third, Paul prays for spiritual eyesight for the present when he asks that they know “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might”. This is what enables the Believer to have a genuine hope . . . it is the power behind the hope, literally “the energy of the might of his strength”. So how can we know this power? Paul gives three examples. 1) God’s power is shown in the resurrection of Christ. God has done what no human being can do: conquer death. That is to take a rotting, decomposing corpse, and restore it to life. 2) God’s power is evidenced when He seated Christ at His right hand in heaven and put all things under Christ feet. That is to say, God placed Christ in the place of supreme honor and executive authority. In doing so He fulfilled Psalm 110:1. “The Lord says to my Lord: Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” This also takes us back to Genesis 1:26 where God gave Adam “dominion” over all the earth. This time someone was put in charge who would not mess it up! 3) God’s power is seen in His divine appointment of Christ as the head of the Church. In making Christ the head of the church, God not only gave Christ ownership and authority of it, but it is through Christ that Church has life. He sustains it with “The fullness of Him who fills all in all”
This is a prayer for a deep understanding of the Gospel. When “the eyes of your hearts [are] enlightened” so that the Believer understands that they were loved in eternity past and will be loved through eternity future and because the Triune God loves us, we will not just be sustained or kept by His power, but are being transformed day by day, little by little! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
Father, grant me the grace to have the wisdom and clear knowledge to get it . . . really get it!