Yesterday our church continued walking through that letter (timing is the Lord's, isn't it?) and arrived at that Ephesians 1 prayer. Here it is in its entire beautiful complexity:
This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 [I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 [I pray] that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.
20 He demonstrated [this power] in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens — 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way (Eph. 1:15-23, HCSB, emphasis mine).The associate pastor preaching this week said the gist of the whole prayer is that Paul's readers would grow to know God better. Paul further prayed that they would understand three things:
- the hope of God's calling,
- the glorious riches of God's inheritance in us, His saints (astonishing, that!),
- and what is the immeasurable (the Greek word here is the source of our English word "hyperbole") greatness of His resurrection power to us who believe.
These are too much for me to get my brain around; I suppose that's why we need to pray for the lightbulb to switch on in our hearts, for the gift of a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better.
After delving further into the details of the text, our speaker challenged us with a simple application: to pray this prayer every day this week for myself and for others and also to ask someone to pray it for us.
This morning I have prayed it for myself, for my family, for close friends and missionaries, for political and church leadership, for the young adults who used to be the TNTS Bible study in our care, for our sponsored children,...
Now I'd like to pray it for you, my crumbly friends:
- for you who are fighting corporate dragons in cubicle labyrinths,
- for you whose hearts and lives are full of tending young children, playing, creating, cleaning, cooking, and caregiving,
- for you, serving God and and raising a family south of the border and across the sea,
- for you, making beauty in the Arizona desert,
- for you, growing a Wild Orange in the Old Dominion,
- for you, drinking tea in a coffee world,
- for you in the antbed,
- for you, my reading friend who calls Alabama your sweet home,
- for you, making paintings and babies and perfectly imperfect prose,
- for you, waiting to be freed from the prison of your weak body,
- for you, endeavoring to inculcate wisdom in university students across the pond,
- for you whose names I know and who are known only to God,
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
I pray that the eyes of your hearts may be enlightened so you may know:
what is the hope of His calling,
what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,
and what is the immeasurable greatness of His resurrection power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.
In the name of Jesus our risen and ascended Savior, Amen.
(Those of you who graciously pray for me anyway, might you consider praying this way this week? I'm so grateful to know Christ better through you!)
And since it's Monday, let me also thank God for His excellent gifts this past week:
~His Word to help me know Him more and teach me how to pray
~a church which believes in God's breathed-out Word and proclaims it week by week
~sister's successful surgery
~mothers to move in and help her during recovery
~a friend's cancer-free post-chemo CT scan
~two weeks off from PT appointments to see if I can maintain the standard of sound teaching without monitoring
~everything stable with my vision, no toxicity from lupus meds
~flu shot checked off for the season
~only one appointment this week for the first time since July. Yea!
~a good dentist and hygienist (my appointment for the week, for cleaning, x-rays, and the next step in the implant)
~a few days cool enough to do my walking in the park
|all my ducks in a row?|
~there's rain in them there clouds!
~phones with cameras
~almost an inch and a half of "showers of blessing" this weekend
~the young birds learning how the feeder works
~even hummingbirds take a breather sometimes
~Big Al grilling supper last night and enough salmon and chicken for 3 more meals
~and also taking care of the car maintenance needs
~a new online acquaintance a few years ahead of me on the lupus journey
(from the gratitude journal, #1645-65)