Paul Prays for You
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 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, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
This whole chapter is really immersed in prayer. The section previous begins: “Praise be to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!”
In this way we see that all of our lives are meant to be lived in a response to the grace of God given to us. This is not a small point. This is actually where your joy, purpose and satisfaction in life comes from. Deuteronomy covenant, because of God’s saving you from Egypt, your relationship moves forward. Exodus covenant: You saw how I brought you out of Egypt on eagles wings (reference the Lord of the Rings), keep my commands. I John 5: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Rolling Stones wrote, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” which is remarkably really. They are of the most talented and successful musical acts in the history of mankind. Why can they not get satisfaction? Well, it is not for trying is it? No, there is a source of satisfaction in life and they are not searching in that place. God Himself, Jesus Christ is our source of satisfaction. And it is in connection with Him that we find our purpose and meaning in life. Our lives fit into God’s grand narrative. And we play a meaningful part in the great drama of the salvation of mankind.
And there is an even greater drama than that. And it is the drama of the celebration of the greatness of God. You are a visible creation of God, not just made, but remade. As such, you show several of His great qualities. You show His grace, His goodness, His creativity, His love, His mercy, His initiative, His trust, His patience, His gentleness and so on and so on. And in heaven, the angels see you and they extol these qualities of God to God Himself. This is not because God needs it, but because there is a need to share great joys and in the sharing of them they are increased.
You can tell in the first part of chapter one that Paul is really taken by God’s love that has extended grace and mercy to Him. And this is a driving part of Paul’s life. Paul is obviously extremely significant in the understanding and sharing of the meaning of Jesus’ person and work. He is the bridge to the Gentiles and He is a challenger of the Jews.
And in this passage today I see Paul’s heart in wanting people to know God in the way that he does. The same desire drives the prayer in chapter 3. God wants the people to find ultimate satisfaction. And to find that satisfaction in Christ. And so he prays for them.
- I Pray that You Might Know God Better!
Why know God better? Because God is better than you know. The better you know Him personally, the better you know He is. You won’t get tired of discovering His wisdom, love, goodness and power in your life. This is what we are learning.
- Spirit of wisdom and revelation
Wisdom: Understanding what is really important about life from God’s perspective. What should I do?! Wisdom answers this question.
Revelation: God’s ability to communicate. What does God want to communicate to you? What do you need for life?
Our culture tells you that you need beauty, knowledge, a great job, a great car, a great house, the right toothpaste, the right hairspray etc. Everything is anchored to cultural values that relate to success, accomplishment, pride, importance of self, the good opinion of others etc.
We buy in as small children because we are wired this way and because of painful life experiences. If you don’t fit it, you will be pounded in or marginalized altogether. We lose our significance and become pawns of others who just want to take something from us.
- Know God better
- If you know a person, what is it that you are learning? Their likes, dislikes, strengths and abilities. This is what we need to know about God.
- What are God’s likes and dislikes? Well, God has created the world in which we live. He likes for it to function in the manner that He intended for it to. Think garden. The more the world is like a garden, the better it is. A garden is the best combination of beauty and utility. A garden feeds you and a garden is beautiful.
- God desires to have healthy relationships with people. He desires true love. He is like a parent who knows that the child can’t make the decisions because they don’t understand the issues, all they can see is their own desire.
This is what God wants from the world, this is what God wants from you. This is what we should be thinking about relative to all of our lives. This will give us direction.
What are God’s strengths and abilities? He will give us life. He is wise. He is good. He is loving and He is powerful.
Ok, what do we really need to know? God. What will be the result? Understanding how to navigate this sinful world in such a way that we get the most out of life.
Knowing God will show us the way.
- I Pray You Would Know Your Hopeful Future
The need for hope. Cultural discussions and facebook. Now abide faith hope and love, these three…
- The eyes of your heart need enlightenment
We need to see things that are really important and when we do we will be forever changed.
What is the heart? It is the seat of desire and decision. We need wisdom to know what it is that we desire.
Let me talk to you young mothers for a second. And I want you to know that I think you are the most buffeted people in our culture. You are supposed to be able to have your cake and eat it too. After all, you are just as gifted and intelligent as men, why should you not compete in the man’s world. This is a good question. What is it that you are really good at that a man cannot do? (I am speaking in generalizations) You can birth the human race. This is the most important thing you can do. But, there are very great difficulties attached to this. Pregnancy is hard. Raising children is harder. The impact of doing this poorly is profound! Who can do these hard jobs? Do you need help? The feminist movement has not been your friend in this area. Who needs men? How about this: Who needs good men? Do you know what makes good men? It is intact families where men are taught by mother and father to be responsible, sacrifice and be a good provider for those you have taken responsibility for. It’s no joke. Men need the responsibility. But you don’t need them. Really? What are we trying to prove? Teach your man that you need him!! Give yourself to him in return.
- Know future hopes and dreams
18 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,
Based on who God is and what He has already done, what does He want to do in your life?
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
We really need to be convinced that God can give us life in whatever circumstance. And then we need to trust Him.
I am confident that humans have the ability to not appreciate and waste God’s good gifts. Can we respond well?
You have incredible possibilities in your future.
II Cor 9: 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Phil 2: continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Work out your salvation because God is at work within you!
What squashes hope? How can hope be restored? Is it important that you have hope? People squash hope? How can they be overcome? Read the book of Revelation. Jesus in our hope. We have a great future and a hope.
- The riches of God’s glorious inheritance
You have an inheritance in Christ.
What is an inheritance? It is something transferred from one generation to another. It is the rightful possession of the one who receives it.
Romans 8: 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
We are co-heirs with Christ in His glory. How can this be possible? Well, He is our husband, that’s how. We are adopted children of God the Father, that’s how.
God chooses to share all that He has with us. This is your future. This is true of you now. What is your inheritance? It is life. It is the purpose and meaning resident in those who follow Jesus Christ. It is the attention and intention of the God of the universe to bless you. Even in your weaknesses you will be made strong.
Whatever Jesus has in God, you have in God.
- God’s great power for believers
What does God have the power to do?
- Create. Bring order out of chaos. In your life, in your family, in your relationships, in your job. He will do it if you will trust Him. His power is for those who believe.
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, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
- Re-create or Resurrect!
Power, might, strength, exerted, This verse is full of redundant power words. But, God’s ultimate power is demonstrated in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and His ascension into heaven.
Jesus was despised and rejected. His earthly life seemed a complete failure. God’s greatest gift was wasted. Darkness came over the earth, but just like with the death of Elisha, there was a whisper of Resurrection.
And then came the real Resurrection. What does real Resurrection do? He who was despised is now loved. He who was rejected is now accepted. He whose life seemed the greatest failure, is now the greatest life ever lived and its not close. No one is more impactful than Jesus. And you can say this of Paul, of Peter, of John etc. Why? Because they are attached to Jesus Christ. Because they are living in obedience to the God who created our world.
And Jesus is sitting at God’s right hand in the heavenly places. And according to 2:6 so are we. The one who seemed to be in hell, is at not just in heaven, but is next to the Creator in the best place period. This is the power of the Resurrection. This is the power of God to reverse the curse. What is the most important fact of your life? Cursed by sin or blessed by God. Look up! That is where you are heading.
What do you need hope for today? Sorrow from the death of a loved one? Sorrow over your own weakness? Sorrow over the decay of our culture? Fatigue over dealing with your addictions? Sorrow over the inability of the things in life you have pursued to give you what you want? You can be set free in hope. You can be directed by faith. You can live in the knowledge that God loves you and can be found in every situation in life.
Paul prays that you here today would know God better and that you would know the incredible future that awaits you in Christ.