Monday, September 19, 2011

Prayer to Know Him Better

Growing pains are stretching my soul lately. The Spirit has been convicting me of laziness in prayer and a need to go deeper in that. So many yearnings tug for the upper hand, but I keep returning to the prayers of Ephesians 1 and 3.

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 callingwhat 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:
I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.

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

baby nutria

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
~growing pains
(from the gratitude journal, #1645-65)

Quietly, gratefully joining the communities at Ann's, Michelle's, Laura's, and Jen's:


  1. I loved your photos! I marvel at our hummingbirds - especially those that actually perch on the bar that holds up the feeder. I'm really going to miss these beautiful birds when they migrate. Thanks for sharing!

  2. visiting from ann's. thank you for the lesson and for the prayer. you blessed my morning.

  3. Enjoyed your post and especially your prayer for others - - Your prayer was certainly Spirit led !!

  4. I'm weeping! Thank you, dear Christina, beloved of the Lord and of the Antbed! I am praying this for you, too!

  5. This blessed me to the core, Christina. Thank you soooo much for including me; I'm forever in need of prayer! I guess we all are.

    Back to you...
    Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You for Christina, for her gentle spirit, wise words, thankful heart, and faithful friendship. I pray Your blessings upon her as she navigates chronic illness; I pray, Father, complete healing in your time, at Your will. I pray for her husband and puppy and for happiness within her family and home. I ask You to send perfect encouragers and helpers. I pray that You would give Christina a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You. I pray that the eyes of her heart may be enlightened so she may the hope of Your calling, the glorious riches of Your inheritance among the saints, and the immeasurable greatness of Your power to us who believe, according to the working of Your vast strength. We love You and thank You for bringing us together and helping us to build one another up and make each other better. In Your name I pray, Amen.

  6. This is a great lesson! Paul always prayed for others to know Jesus more personally and intimately. Usually those moments come wrapped in a trial. Praising Him for those challenging growth opportunities!

  7. This is one of my favorite scriptures to pray for my loved ones and I am honored to pray it for you, sweet friend! Okay, just one question...what is a nutria? I've never heard that term and am so curious. :) Your photos are gorgeous and they open my eyes to the Glory of God. Beautiful.

  8. Thank you for reading and commenting, kind friends, and I will be making the rounds of your blogs to return the call over the next few days. Brandee, Anne, and Laura, thank you for your prayers.

    Laura, a nutria is a large river rodent similar to a beaver but with a skinny tail. They are imports from South America and have rather taken over southern wetlands in the US. Kind of cute, though, and that's the first baby I've seen. If you care to learn more, try this site:

    Love to you all,

  9. I will pray for you according to His word in Ephesians. You are such a blessing -- may He continue to call you deeper still.

  10. What a rich and wonderful post. First, the beautiful scripture and teaching. Then, the prayer. Thank you friend. Yes, yes will love to pray this for you.
    Also, so thankful you received rain! Your hummingbirds look like mine:) Some skinny, some looking like they've saved just a wee bit extra in their tummies for a journey. Too cute. Praising God for all your gratitude and your inspiration. Blessings as you delve even deeper. Praying now. . .

  11. Thank you for this. I, too, am needing strength in my prayers and I think I'd like to join you in praying this prayer from Ephesians this week. And *us* as God's inheritance? That thought is sending my brain into a tailspin--a beautiful, joyful, hope-filled tailspin, that is. Thank you again, for sharing.

  12. thank you for the passage and the gloss! i really like the way St. Paul says, "I never stop giving thanks for you", so that his gratitude (and love) embraces a whole person, rather than just an aspect or a trait of a person.

    and thank you, especially, for "folding us into" your Ephesians 1 prayer. We do get to know--and to love--Christ better through each other, just as we get to know--and to love--each other better, through Christ: I'm so grateful to be part of that, and to pray this week that you'll be ever more blessed with hope, wisdom, and a sense of the boundlessness of what God can do for and has already prepared for those who love Him.

  13. I can hardly make out your beautiful pictures through the tears in my eyes. Really. I feel so honored that you are praying for me. What a blessing it has been to make friends like you through our blogs.

    Praying for you too, especially for your physical health and healing as well as for your spiritual journey and how it blesses so many around you.

  14. How beautiful to be called of God to pray deeply -- and to see the willing obedience to His request. Lives are changed by our prayers and obedience.


  15. This is just wonderful -- I love your prayers for dear friends...and your photos...and that scripture (absolutely what I need to read today, as I've been struggling in a dry prayer life lately).


Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.