Ephesians 1:15-18

Paul’s Prayer


Intro: Dear God Did you mean for the elephant to look like that or was it an accident  -Norma

 Dear God, Who draws the lines around the countries? -Nan


Dear God,
Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. -Joyce


Dear God,
I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair all over.   -Sam


Dear God,
I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool.  -Brandy


Dear God,
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay?  -Neil


Child like prayers – so honest / so innocent Prayer is important –

we know – God desires us to be people of prayer { Pray not lose heart

A)Power in Prayer / Prayer is a mark of a persons dependency on the Lord


B) But Prayer can be tough – hard to discipline / hard to concentrate / easily distracted – ( Paper no cares – prayer – million thoughts )

1)    Why is that ? Satan knows the power of Prayer/ For that reason  He like to distract us from praying


D) One of the things that inspires me to pray is reading the prayers of great men & women of Prayer

1)   Spurgeon / Murray / Bounds / - Learn a lot from their prayers- model prayers for us to glean from & be inspired by


As great as their prayers are nothing matches the prayers that we find in the scriptures – because they are divinely inspired

A)They are a Blessing to us for 2 Reasons: 1st  Because they Reveal  God’s heart toward us { This is what God wants for our lives


B) This is what is first & foremost on his heart for us: This is what is most important { This is what God wants for us !!!

1) Now it’s interesting when we look at Paul’s prayers.  He rarely prayed for the things that loom so large in our prayers


C) Things like better health, or more money, or a job situation, or family problems, or the world crisis,

1) whatever it might be at the particular time—he rarely prayed for those kinds of things. 


D) Now that doesn’t mean that those things are wrong or that we shouldn’t be praying for those things – 1 Peter 5:7 Cast your cares …. Cares for you

1)  It is not wrong to pray for those things at all – especially in times like this

    but what is revealed in so many of Paul’s prayers is the eternal perspective


E) So much of what we pray for has to do w/ temporal things – changing our present circumstances

1) But what the Prayers in the NT – reveal to us is that – God is most interested in the Eternal


That is right perspective to have in light of the current situation: Greatest fire storms in California’s History : 543,000 acres / 1200 homes

A) Temporal – it is all going to burn – reminder –


B) Not making light of people’s suffering – but it is true

1) We don’t take anything w/ us – { Different reactions – Women at Festival of life – { Her home is not here !!!!


C) For that reason – Paul’s Prayer is good for us to study !!!! – Reveals God’s heart –

2nd Reason important: Teaches us how to Pray for others

A) Every get tongued tied – mind goes blank – what should I pray for

     Follow this example -


B) See in short that Paul prayed primarily that people might know God better.      RD v. 15-23 { See what we can learn about Prayer


C) Note several things


1st when He prays/ After teaching / v.15 marks a Change in the Chapter: A)Paul spends verses 3-14 verses talking to the people about God & His blessing


B)  Paul broke out into this long continuous celebration of Praise Concerning the Blessings of God – In Christ

1) We studied those blessings that Paul mentions—the blessing of election; the blessing of adoption; the blessing of acceptance;

2)  the blessing of redemption; the blessing of forgiveness; the blessing of illumination; and then finally the blessing of assurance. 


C)  And so after giving us an overview of what he meant by “God blessing us with every spiritual blessing,”

1) Paul then immediately goes into prayer for his readers that they might be able to now comprehend everything that he’s been communicating to them.


D)  He prays that they would have divine insight into these things. 

                          That is our need !!!! 

1) We need the Spirit of God to come upon us and to bring these things home to us, to make them real in our own personal experience. 


Good model to follow:

A) After He talks to the people about God – He pauses to talk to God about the people. Prays for them



B) Great Model for every teacher – teach / then pray

1)   Every parent – talk to kids – pause talk to God

2)   Every employer – talk to employees – talk to God



2nd Notice how often He talks about them: Do not cease …….

A) After hearing of their faith & Love  he says I do not cease …..

ceasing = tickle in the throat – always bringing them before the father –


B) We find this phrase often in Paul’s epistles – Prays always or without ceasing –


C) Paul was not only an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor/teacher, and a church planter, but he was also a man of prayer. 

1) He was constantly in prayer. 


D) Paul would travel from place to place.  Sometimes he would travel by foot, and sometimes he would travel by ship,

1) but he spent a lot of time on the road traveling, But it wasn’t wasted time. 


E) As he was traveling, he meditated on the Scriptures.  But it’s obvious that he also spent a lot of time praying for those that he had been ministering to, 1) those  he had been able lead to Christ, and those that were part of new churches that had been planted. 


F) Paul must have had a prayer list a mile long, and spent his time praying for the people, as he would journey from place to place. 


Sometimes we get into a mindset that we can only pray under certain circumstances, or at certain times, or in certain locations. 

A)And we really miss out on a lot when we get caught up in that mentality. 


B) I’ve had times before where (I’m not consciously doing it), I’m driving down the road, and I’m burdened.  Lot on my mind

1) Pray for that Later  tonight – home or Church or prayer place

C) I’m going to tell the Lord all these things.”  And then it dawns on me, “Wait a second.  Why don’t I just tell Him right now? 

1) He’s not going to be any more attentive to me this evening when I’m at home, than He is going to be right now when I’m driving down the road.” 


D) As God’s people we can pray any time, any place, all the time.  It doesn’t matter. 

1) We can take whatever we’re doing, and we can turn it into a prayer time.


E) Courson: Every stop light – Pray for something : List

1) Pastor Brian – certain days prays for certain things: Missions day

     Sick days – Prayer cards 


3rd The Tone of Paul’s prayer / V.16 Gives thanks –

A) He says When I heard of your faith and your love for all the saints – I GAVE THANKS


B) This is a beautiful statement – Paul heard of their Faith & Love

1) Love is really the outworking of faith.  Paul in writing to Timothy said, “The end of the commandment, the purpose, the goal of the commandment of God is love from a pure heart and genuine faith.”


C) Here Paul mentions how their faith had manifested itself in love. 

1) It was their faith in the Lord Jesus that worked itself out in their love for all the saints.


D) That is what true faith does it results in you becoming more loving

1) More giving – Less selfish more selfless


E) Home groups have seen: James points out that genuine faith is revealed by the concern that awakens in us for the Hungry / hurting / heartbroken

1) The needy & the Homeless { Our willingness to reach out


F) Costa Rica – Hannah’s Plight – I couldn’t ignore it !!!  The Spirit !!


So Paul rejoiced in their Faith & Love – I do as well !! Prayer of thanks

A) Philippians – 1 Paul rejoiced – simple fact that like him they were partakers of Grace – { They know the Lord !!!


B) Note this is a prayer for them when things are going well

1)   Sometimes only pray when need / only pray when someone bugs us Lord deal w/ them get them …. Help them


C) Paul says the very thought of you / Your faith , Your love for God’s people causes me to give thanks

1)   Good model to follow



Now lets consider the first thing on the list concerning the Content of Paul’s Petition v.17

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,


A)First thing He prays is that they would grow in Wisdom & Revelation in the Knowledge of Christ


B)The atheist says there is no God!     The agnostic says if there is a God He cannot be Known / abstract force -

1) But Paul says there is a God & We can know Him


C) This is at the very heart of God's desire for us! He wants us to know Him!  

     1) JN.17:3    Know =   intimately closely!


D) When Paul prays that they would grow in their  knowledge of JC

     wasn't just intellectual / factual knowledge    

     1) Knowledge that was by experience a fullness of knowledge!


E) Know about someone /diff. to know them!     Billy Graham

     1)Knowledge comes from time & experience! God wants us to know Him!


Now The Ephesians  had a relationship w/ Christ but Paul prayed it would Grow!     Know Him & Experience Him in our daily lives!

A)Marked by wisdom & Revelation


B) Wisdom speaks of Knowledge appliedtaking what we know to be true of Christ – taking what we have experienced – putting into practice

1) 1st Missions trip – I didn’t have a clue what we were going to do


C) We were on our way to Hungary & Yugo w/ no plan –

1) I experienced God leading  us in a mighty way: I experienced – His direction step by step – watched Him open doors


D) Learned from that – Go on a missions trip – Don’t need a Plan –

1) Usually have an idea but blessed are the flexible


E)Provision: I have experienced God Providing – supplying all my needs

1) So as we take steps of faith as a Church that are huge – I believe God is going to provide – Wisdom – application of Knowledge



A) I love this – There is a lot about Jesus – they Knew – But Paul was praying for further unveiling


B) Ever wonder why 4 gospels ? Reasons of writing to different people groups / each one has a little different emphasis

1) Matt. Gospel presents Jesus as the Messiah - the King of the Jews & the redeemer . He was writing to a Jewish Audience


C) Mark purpose in writing was to reveal  Jesus as the servant of men - His audience was gentile readers especially those throughout Rome.


C) John’s Gospel revolves around 7 specific miracles & the 7 I am Statements Jesus made about Himself.  And focuses on the Deity of Christ

1) Revealing very clearly that Jesus is  the Son of God


D) Luke’s Gospel presents Jesus as the perfect man / The Son of God who came to live among sinners, love them, help them, and die for them.

1) Luke’s gospel has a universal appeal - focus is to present the good news of Jesus Christ to all men - Proclaim the hope men can find in Jesus alone


E) But over all each gospel’s purpose is to show us Christ / as if the Father is saying if you don’t get this the first time – repeat it 3 times   See MY SON

1)   He is the source of all true wisdom & Knowledge



That is why 4 gospels – father saying I don’t want you to miss this

A)Love Romans / One Romans –/ One Ephesians great / One Isaiah –

      but 4 gospels stay in this – regularly read this / It is my Son


B) Time Make – Picture Removal service – Extract someone thru scan computer – Developed by a man engaged who had all these pictures of himself in Europe – each picture different woman – removed


C) Listen you pull Jesus out of Your Bible study / not going to be getting a true picture / take Jesus out the picture gets altered / Volume ….of Me


D) In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom & Knowledge

1)   Given us all things that pertain ……… Knowledge of Him


Remember the disciples in Acts 4 - marveled at their knowledge

A.) How can they have those insights & understandings they are unlearned untrained!   But they realized they had been with Jesus


B.) Schooling Bible College Fine – Real Quest. Can tell been w/ Jesus

1)   How Be w/ Jesus ? One way read gospels – Watch Him w/


C) Pray – Heavenly insight – More Knowledge of Jesus –

    1) The more we understand Him – Grow in our knowledge of Him / the  

             more that we Become like Him

So first Paul prays – that they would grow in their Knowledge of Christ

2nd He prays that they would have a Better grasp of His plan for them v.18

A)Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be blind?  Not be able to see anything / tree / flower/ sky?


B)I once experimented w/ being blind .  I was 5yrs old problem was I was riding a bike !   ( Motor cycle bike) How far ride w/ eyes closed

          1)      Didn't get far / rode into a jacked up truck!


C)What is interesting about some cases of blindness is there is nothing wrong w/ the optical part of the eye/ Vision takes place

 1) The problem often times is the result of a film that covers the

          eye ball causing blindness.


D)     If the film could be surgically removed that person could see.


Sometimes we can be so blind to the plan that God has for us

A)So In v.18 Paul prays for some enlightenment- eyes of their heart open to see what God has for them/


B) Road to Emmaus -