Prayer for Wisdom and Revelation (1:15-23)
Welcome to Week 2 of your Ephesians Bible Study.
This week we’ll be studying one of Paul’s prayers for the Ephesian church.
We begin with an observation based on real life.
The Desire For Wisdom
Walk down any major urban center and you are bound to see front store shops dedicated to reading your palms, your horoscopes or your future.
The popularity in these services has to do with an innate human desire to have more knowledge, more insight, indeed more spiritual perception in order to make better decisions in life or to know exactly how one’s life is going to turn out.
But all of these avenues are false sources and dead-ends. Some may even be connected to the occult.
However, beyond the command to avoid these spiritual traps, God has already promised to grant us wisdom, revelation and deeper spiritual insights if we only ask him.
In this section of our Ephesians Bible Study we see that Paul prays for exactly these things for the Ephesian church.
Read Ephesians 1:15-23
Questions to Reflect on the Passage
- Paul describes two characteristics of the Ephesian church in 1:15. What are they?
In 1:17 Paul prays for a spirit of “wisdom” and “revelation” for the Ephesian church? These words are not meant to conjure up a desire for secret knowledge but rather a deeper perception about God and his ways.
- What wisdom and revelation did Paul wish for the Ephesian church given what follows in the letter?
In 1:18 Paul prays that “the eyes of [the Ephesians] heart might be enlightened” so that they might know “the hope of God’s calling,” the “riches of his inheritance” and “God’s power.”
- What do each of these spiritual truths mean? Describe with concrete examples.
- Paul describes God’s power by referring to what event in the gospels?
- In Ephesians 1:21-22 Paul describes the position God gave to Christ after his resurrection. Describe that position in as much detail as possible.
- Ephesians 1:22-23 begins to describe several fundamental truths about the New Testament church: What exactly do these verses say about the church?
Questions to Reflect on Your Life
- In 1:15 you identified two traits that characterize the Ephesians church. Are these traits descriptive of your church? Are they descriptive of you? Why or why not?
In 1:18 Paul desired greater spiritual understanding for the Ephesians in order that they might know the “hope of God’s calling,” “the riches of his inheritance” and “his power.”
- In which of these truths do you need greater spiritual understanding? Why?
- What does it mean for the church and for your life individually that Christ has been seated at God’s right hand above every rule, authority, power and dominion? Be specific.
- How is it that you appropriate God’s power, authority or dominion in your Christian life? Or do you appropriate it at all?
- What are the implications for the church and for your part within the church to say that we are Christ’s body and that he is the head or the source of the church?
- What does this image imply about the way that the church grows, how it functions, how it is lead and the part that you play within this body?
Paul often prayed for the congregations he planted and served often giving thanks to God for these churches (and their members) and petitioning God that these churches might be strengthened.
- What is your level of intercession for your church, for its leaders, for people within the congregation? Is this something all Christians should cultivate?