November 8th 2018 – Ephesians 1:15-22

"For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church."

Ephesians 1:15-22

Before we look in detail at Paul's prayer, let us pause for a little at its preface in 15-17a. We see first of all, in 15, 16, the warmth of his love and joy at the news of the Ephesians' spiritual state. Also, the words 'when I heard' tell us that when faith is real it is something you hear about! It is noised abroad, and it will 'out', for it cannot be hid. Also, the phrase 'making mention of you in my prayers' implies, according to Handley Moule, the expression of individual remembrance. It could even mean literally 'by name'. This is one of the most striking characteristics in Paul, his intercession for the saints, in every epistle, and on every occasion. He truly had them on his heart. His work was not done when he had proclaimed the word of salvation to them, but once begun he continued it through prayer (cf Galatians 4:19). Paul, then, is in effect praying into the Ephesians all that he had preached to them, as if to say, 'I want you to know in your experience all that I have said to you in writing as I have done in this epistle'. We should also note particularly how he describes the God to Whom he is praying: 'the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory'. What a tremendous utterance! Modern versions render the phrase 'the glorious Father' but this is not what the phrase means. He is 'the glorious Father', of course, but He is more. He is, to use Moule's phrase, 'the Father who is the Origin and King of all that is meant by 'eternal glory'. And when we take the two things together - the fact of being mentioned 'by name' in someone's prayers, and the fact that our name is being spoken to this Ineffable Presence, the Father of glory - is not this a wonderful, glorious privilege and joy!