In Ephesians 1:15-20, Paul prays for believers in Ephesus to have a spiritual revelation of their position in Christ. The prayer is for us, too. It is a powerful prayer because Paul prays from the knowledge and belief of who he is in Jesus Christ. Paul knows that the believers have no power without the spiritual wisdom God has given them. He doesn't plead with God to provide the Ephesians with spiritual insight. He prays for the Ephesians to open their spiritual eyes to what they have already received.
“Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance” (Ephesians 1:15-18, NLT).
Paul does not stop praising God for faithful believers and their love for each other. He prays that God would give them wisdom and revelation in their knowledge of Him. Paul wants them to understand what they have received—what is theirs in coming to know Christ. He knows that without these believers growing in the understanding of their new identity, they have no power to stand against the enemy's lies and have confidence in God’s calling.
Have we grown in knowledge of what we have received in Christ? Do we know what belongs to us? Do we often plead with God to give us what we have already received because we don’t have the wisdom to know that it is already ours?
Look at 1 Peter 2:24. “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (KJV).
This verse clearly states what Christ has purchased for us. Because He died for our sins over two-thousand years ago, as a believer we are now dead to sin so we can live a righteous life. By the wounds He took for us, He also healed us. We don’t just enter into a position of grace that only forgives us of our sins. We enter into the finished work of Christ—a position of grace that gives us everything Christ’s payment for our sin accomplishes. The root of sickness is sin. Christ has overcome sin and sickness. The wounds He took over two-thousand years ago have healed us.
When we spiritually understand this Truth, our perspective changes. The way we pray for healing changes. When we believe Jesus took our infirmities into His own body on the Cross, we don't plead with God to heal us. Jesus already carried in His tortured body the pain of our sin and sickness and healed us. We pray, praising Him for His finished work of grace. We praise Him, believing in our heart that one day we shall experience in our body the Truth of His Word, “By His stripes, you were healed.”
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:19-20, NKJV).
Paul prays for us to understand the power we have when we believe God. It is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Do we understand that His Resurrection power lives in us? We don’t plead with God from weakness. When we have the spiritual wisdom of who we are in Jesus Christ, we pray from strength. We know that in our weakness, He is strong. And that His strength and power are ours. We pray believing we have already received what we ask (Mark 11:24, 1 John 5:14-15).
Do you believe in what you have received? You have received Jesus and His finished work of grace. Learn who you are in God’s Word. His Word is life (John 6:63). Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you what you have received in Christ. Ask Him for wisdom. He gives it generously (James 1:5).
"For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.
But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear” (Matthew 13:15-16, NKJV)
Lord, soften our hearts to the Truth you wish to reveal to us. When we seek your Truth, we shall find it. When we choose to understand, we renew our minds with your Truth. When we believe your Truth in our hearts, we receive all the benefits your grace affords. When we believe what is ours and the new life you have given us, we live in the fullness of your love. And then blessed are our eyes because they see and our ears because they hear.
You have a revelation of grace for us that sets us free to believe. Give us a hunger to know all that is ours.
© 2022 Lynn Lacher