A Word for Today | Ephesians 1:15
After the apostle Paul had been converted on the Damascus Road, the first words said about him as a Christian were telling: “Behold, he is praying” (Acts 9:11). Paul’s letters are filled with prayer because his life was filled with prayer. He writes to the Ephesians: “I do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Eph. 1:15). Paul has just written a stunningly moving hymn of praise to the grace of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:3-14), and it is revealing that he immediately proceeds to record his prayers for their faith. Paul knew that even the highest and best of our service to Christ will come to nothing unless we add to it our prayers for God’s blessing.
We find a similar zeal with practically every Christian who has been greatly used by the Lord. Martin Luther prayed two or three hours a day, and his great moments of faith were all preceded by long and fervent prayer. John Knox cried out to God, “Give me Scotland, or I die!” The same is true of great men and women in the Bible. Hezekiah, Daniel, Nehemiah, and Ezra all are shown in prayer before the defining moments of their careers, and it was through prayer that Esther saved her people. People will pay great sums of money and go to great effort to gain an audience with a famous or powerful person. But Christians have access to God himself! We have in prayer an audience with the King of Kings, the Lord of Hosts, with Almighty God!
Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1 shows the necessity of prayer for the success of the gospel. Having written one of the greatest chapters in the Bible, Paul still prays for God to open the eyes of his readers. We must likewise pray for the preaching of God’s Word and our own witness. Notice, as well, what Paul prays for: “Because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus.” In addition to faith, he also prays for love among believers: “and your love toward all the saints.” What a reminder of what is truly important in life: faith and love. Paul grounds his spiritual life on God’s Word and prayer, and as we also spend time at Christ’s feet through His word and in prayer, we too will come to know Him better and be used to reveal Him to the eyes of the world.
In Christ’s Love,