Paul’s Prayer List for the Church

by Joanna Pierce on October 11, 2018

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power (Ephesians 1:15–19, KJV).

Paul’s Prayers

Paul had 3 specific prayers for the church in Ephesus. He prayed they would:

  • Have knowledge and revelation of the hope of God’s calling in their life
  • Be strengthened by God’s Spirit in their inner man
  • Understand how big God’s love was for them

He prayed God would show them how to accomplish these things in their life. But, God’s Spirit would need to reveal and confirm to them what they’d been taught (Ephesians 3:14–19). Remember, revelation comes from God! We should consider what Paul taught and let God give us understanding (II Timothy 2:7).

To Know the Hope of God’s Calling

Hope is an expectation for something in God. Hope is not happiness, things, nicer or bigger, a better job, our feelings, etc. We cannot hope in the tangible because none are stable enough. They all have the ability to fail at one time or another. Failure will lead to disappointment, and disappointment is powerful. When we hope in something that doesn’t come, it will make us sick (Proverbs 13:12).

The ultimate truth: anything not eternal is destined to disappoint us. Our true hope is being with Christ in eternity (I Corinthians 15:19). Take heed to the writers of the Scriptures. The Bible tells us to hope in glory, lay up treasures in heaven, etc. We cannot be sustained and hope in the things of this life.

To Be Strengthened by God’s Spirit

When we came to God, He changed us on the outside, but an outside-only change is never strong enough to stand on its own. We need strength that can only come from the inside-out (Ephesians 1:19). This strength only lies in the power of  the infilling of the Holy Ghost. The devil is concerned about how strong we are on the inside. He wants to stop us from doing 3 things: 1) praying, 2) reading the Word of God, and 3) connecting with the body of Christ. If he can do any of these things, he can gain a foothold of the child of God. We weren’t meant to be isolated (Ephesians 2:19); we’ve got to be smarter than our adversary!

The world will shut their mind off to God, but we put off our old conduct (corrupt man) and are renewed in the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:17–27). Our behavior models the new inward man God made us to be. When we model righteousness, this strengthens our inner man. Our day should be balanced and centered in the Holy Ghost. God has given us tools to be able to do this daily (Ephesians 6:14–17).

Understand the Love of God

Paul uses ambiguous terms to describe the love of Christ (e.g., length, breadth, depth, and height). Ultimately, he wanted us to know God’s love transcends our understanding of the mere term. God’s love toward us is equally as large as it can be through us, if we allow it to operate in us. We should be patient with one another, bind together in peace, extend grace, forgive, and love one another (Ephesians 4:1–6, 29–32). We need to imitate God and walk in love (Ephesians 5:1–2). If we can’t find an example in Scripture where Jesus acted the way we’re acting, we need to stop!

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on October 10, 2018 with Pastor Nave