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Sunday, January 16, 2011

". . . that you may know him better": Paul's prayer in Ephesians 1

I am continuing a series on prayers in the Bible. The previous post is here.

I have previously indicated, with documentation, that the prayers given, or mentioned, in the New Testament are almost all asking God to strengthen believers. There is almost no prayer for the sick, or for money, or for the salvation of non-believers. One example of such a prayer is given in Ephesians 1. (I am using the World English Bible, which is public domain.)

Ephesians 1:15b . . . I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which you have toward all the saints, 16 don’t cease to give thanks for you, 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 revelation in the knowledge of him; 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might 20 which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit 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 that which is to come.

Wow! Remarkable.

Paul tells the Ephesian Christians that he is praying for several things to happen in their lives. He wants them to know about their inheritance. He wants them to know about God's power, which is available to them. Resurrection power! But, it seems to me, the main thing Paul wants is for the Ephesians to have more knowledge of Christ.

The Blueletter Bible allows users to examine several versions of the Bible at once. I have done this, for Ephesians 1:17. Here is how various translators have rendered part of that verse:
KJV: may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him
NKJV: may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him
NLT: to give to you spiritual wisdom and understanding,so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.
ESV and RSV: may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,
NASB: may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him
NIV: may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
(Other translations, similar to these, are given.)

I like the NIV phrase best: ". . . that you may know him better." What a hope, what a necessity for a powerful   Christian life!

Thanks for reading.


i am Grateful... Kerry i am. said...

Lord, I want to know You more, deep within my heart, I want to know You. Lord I WANT TO KNOW YOU, MORE!

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Kerry! Me, too.