By Scott Brown
First Baptist Church, Waverly.
Focal Passage: Ephesians 1:15-23
He wanted them to know they were prayed for. Paul is enduring his first imprisonment for proclaiming King Jesus, and rather than waste his time he spends it praying and encouraging believers to proclaim Jesus even more.
As Paul prayed for them, of all the things for which he might pray, he was first asking that they might know God more. There is nothing greater than to know God.
Warren Wiersbe says, “To know God personally is salvation (John 17:3). To know him increasingly is sanctification (Philippians 3:10). To know Him perfectly is glorification (1 Corinthians 13:9-12).”
We never outgrow our desperate need to know God more. The Christian life is a journey of continued willful surrender to God and a deeper revelation of His character, power, and presence in our lives.
In fact, the more I know of God, the hungrier I am to know more of Him. Would that God would bless us to deeply know Him more. After knowing Jesus, Paul prays they might also know personally the hope of God’s calling.
The hope of our calling is the winsome beckoning of God to rest in Him and longingly look for the day that He returns and makes right all that has been broken by the curse of sin. He is our hope and He is our calling. Paul then prays for them to know God’s riches. This isn’t a prayer for them to know their riches in Christ but His riches in us! Christ has a countless inheritance in the saints, of the saints!
Finally, Paul prays that they might experientially understand the immeasurable greatness of God’s power toward all who believe.
It is nothing short of a miracle of God that we might be saved, sanctified, secured, and sealed in Him. God’s power is limitless and His power toward the believer is that we might be empowered and perfectly equipped to know Him more and make Him known until He returns for us.
As Paul thinks about this group of believers from his imprisonment, his prayers are not about safety, security, or sickness but wholly focused on their deepest need: to continually and more deeply know Christ.
I’m convinced this is our need today: to know Christ more. As we experience His power and His presence at work in our life, fear and frustration flee. I give thanks for you, my Baptist brethren, and I pray that we might know the power and the preciousness of King Jesus and then we might be moved to make Him known. B&R — Brown is pastor of First Baptist Church, Waverly.