John Riley | 23 January 2020
Is there a Christian in your life, someone younger than you, someone that you poured yourself into in the past, but now are separated from? This could be your own child or people from a ministry you were involved in years before, but time or distance has since pulled you apart. Someone that remains dear to you despite the distance. If you can relate to that scenario then you can relate to Paul’s heart for the people in Ephesus.
Paul helped build the church there from the ground up. He invested over two years in the people and the church there saying a tearful farewell to their leaders; recorded in Acts 20:36-38. Now years later Paul is thinking of those dear friends and writing to them and praying:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, (Eph. 1:18-20)
Paul’s prayer is specific. I’ve prayed that people in my life would know God and walk with God and serve God, but I think I’ve been missing something important. I’ve underlined the words that break through Paul’s extrapolations of God’s extravagance on our behalf in order to get to the heart of his plea. I pray that you may know the hope and power for us who believe. It is interesting that both the hope and the power of this prayer point to or are all about the resurrection. Hope = riches of his glorious inheritance. This is our eternal or resurrection life. Power = mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead. Paul wants God’s followers to really know about the power for us that raised Christ from the dead.
I feel like I already know about it, but If the people directly under Paul’s ministry need a prayer to know more and more the hope of eternal life and the power that raised Jesus from the dead, then I must be able to grow greatly in that too. Perhaps you can too and the people you are praying for.
Today, consider the eternal hope we have and the power of God that will make that happen in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones who also know him. Pray that we will have our eyes/minds focused on God’s power to resurrect more and more in the days ahead.
Jr. High Pastor