Launching Pad Prayer: Ephesians 1:15-23
“15) For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16) do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17) that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18) I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19) and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20) which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21) far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22) And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23) which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians‬ ‭1‬:‭15‬-‭23‬
The book of Ephesians was written as a strategic book to show believers how to walk in the fulness of their new life in Christ. Paul was teaching them how to put off the old self and put on the new self. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
In this book, Paul prayed two profound prayers for believers. In each of them, he interceded for them the step into the new dimension of walking in the renewed human spirit rather than the dead condition of living according to the flesh and soul.
Today, we are going to look at the first prayer. It is recorded in Ephesians 1:15-23. Let’s look at the kinds of things Paul prayed for in the lives of these believers.
First, according to verse 17, Paul prayed that God would give then a “spirit” of wisdom and revelation into the knowledge of Christ. That ought to grab your attention. It is the renewed human spirit and not the flesh or soul where the Holy Spirit teaches and reveals the full knowledge of Christ. Paul begged God to give believers a spirit of wisdom and revelation into the knowledge of Christ.
Human reason through the soul can study the Bible and assemble theology, but it falls short of what God has for us in Christ. Theology often puts God in the box of human reason and draws dumb conclusions like; “God does not do miracles today.” Instead of lifting man up to the level of God, it reduces God “down” to the level of man and naturalism.
Second, in verse 18, Paul prayed that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” The word “heart” is a term that refers to the “innermost part of your being.” It is another reference to the human spirit. Ephesians 4:18 talks about the heart being hardened or darkened.
The thrust of this prayer profound. Paul is interceded for the “spirit” to come alive and start functioning according to God’s original design. Until that happens, you will forever be religious, but lost. Your flesh and soul will govern your life and result in distorted “box views” of God.
Paul then notes that the spirit coming alive is the prerequisite for understanding three things. It is important to understand the will of God for your life, the full benefits of your salvation and inheritance in Christ, and perceiving and unleashing the power of God.
Those are some big things. We could devote a section to each of them. But notice, they are tied to the working of the strength of His might that brought about the resurrection of Christ “from the dead.” But Paul’s praying doesn’t stop there. He moves on to Christ being seated at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places; “ far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
I believe he is praying that we might know and walk in kingdom authority. This authority enables us to live and function above the world, the flesh and the devil. It places us positionally and experientially in a different realm. These things can only be entered into by walking in the renewed human spirit dependent on the authority of Christ, the Word of God and the filling and power of the Holy Spirit.
Here is the sad truth, as a new believer years ago… nobody taught me these truths. Nobody prayed over me this way. I never learned any of these things in Bible college. Why, because much of Christian religion is on the level of the flesh and soul!
The way I now understand what God intends for the Christian life… this prayer is the starting point of the born-again experience and not the finish point of Christian maturity. These things should be monitored in the maternity ward to make sure new life in the spirit begins at the moment of salvation.
Let me add, this is only the first prayer Paul prayed in the book of Ephesians. This is the “launching pad prayer.” The next prayer goes into stage two as the first engine drops off and the Christian life accelerates into the stratosphere.
God does not want us to be carnal or remain as spiritual babies. This happens through ignorance, sinful bondage and an enemy called “average.” God wants us to join the crowd Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 2:4-13. He wants us to walk in Freedom and the power of the spirit/Spirit.
I now often pray this prayer for myself, my family and those close to me in ministry. I have no desire to be “average” or remain a dysfunctional Christian. I refuse to live on the level of the flesh and soul. I am determined to “press on” and lay hold of everything God has for me “in Christ”, in His Word, and in the Holy Spirit!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global