Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus and shared how he interceded in prayer for them about;
1. God granting them spiritual wisdom and revelation to know Jesus
2. That their understanding may be enlighten to Godís calling on their lives
3. That they may know Godís power (he mentions 2 levels of power)
4. And Jesusí authority over all things visible and invisible
5. Lastly, Jesusí headship to the church
Paulís purpose on writing these Christians about how he prayed was design for their spiritual growth. Secondly, so they may know how to pray for others. If everyone in the Christian world would pray this prayer for all the churches and fast along with the sincere request we wonít have all the confusion and division that exist today. The division is mainly because people donít have supernatural revelation about God. They just have natural information about God. People who are not born-again have natural information about God. It doesnít do any justice or benefit just having information and no revelation about God.
Paul encountered this in his own ministry and this is why he wrote this prayer in his letter. Paul wrote how he prayed in a few letters in the New Testament. We will touch on those prayers later on. However, to make the prayer in Ephesians 1:16-23, more enlightening and practical I would like explain all 5 points as Paul had prayed them with biblical examples of how the request is actually brought about in the life of a believer.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Paul said, Do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers (Eph.1:16 NKJV)
1. When we give thanks to God for something He has done or is going to do in our lives or on behalf of others, we are expressing our gratitude with joy toward God.
2. Paul is giving thanks on behalf of the Christians at Ephesus when heís praying. Thanksgiving is one part of praying. Itís the part God loves because as we express our appreciation toward His divine abilities, qualities and faithfulness toward His people despite the hardships and trials we may be experiencing. God is touched by our attitude and fortitude.
3. Paul taught the church at Colosse that whatever they do in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus giving thanks to God (Col.3:17)
4. Paul taught the church at Ephesus later in chapter 5, verse 20; that they should always give thanks for all things.
5. Paul taught the Christians at Thessalonica to pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks: For this is the will of God (1 Thess.5:17-18)
Itís Godís will to give thanks for all things and on behalf of others. So express your gratitude with joy. If you appreciate God, God will appreciate your thanksgiving and bless you.
Thanking God No Matter What
Itís easy to give someone thanks for a favor, a gift, or any good thing that was done for you. The key to Christian thanksgiving is to express it when you donít feel like it or when all hell broke loose on your life.
Paul said in everything give thanks. He practiced what he teaches. When he was whip and arrested then thrown in the dungeon with his back bleeding. Paul and Silas praised and thanked God and the power of God bust the prison doors wide open. The guard thought the prisoners escaped and pulled his sword to kill himself for fear of them executing him for allowing the prisoners to get away. But Paul called out to him and said donít kill yourself we are all here and the guard ran and fell to his knees and asked how can he be saved. Paul told him how then the guard took Paul and Silas to his house and washed their wounds from the whipping. The guards family also received the Lord and his whole family was born-again (Acts 16:16-34).
When we praise and worship God by thanking Him despite our current situation God will move miraculously. There could be quarrels right now among church members or congregation against congregation who are across town or across the street from each other. When we pray with thanks- giving God will move miraculously to bring peace and harmony. When we see other believers lacking spiritual growth we should pray for them like Paul prayed for the Christians at Ephesus.
Psalm 136 helped me learn how to give thanks. Read it and see how they gave thanks, then restructure it to fit your present circumstance. Iím going to give you an idea of how I was led to do it.
Father I thank you for the salvation you provided through your beloved Son Jesus Christ. I thank you for allowing me to come to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. My Healer, My Friend, My Teacher and Master and Heís so much more than this to me. I thank you for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the power that came along with the experience. I thank you for the Holy Spiritís ministry and guidance and anointing for ministry. I thank you for the gifts of the spirit and activating them as you will to help your people grow and be blessed in the kingdom on the earth. I thank you for your ministering Angels who protect and minister to those you have called and chosen for the ministry. I thank you for spiritual wisdom and revelation of who Jesus is and how your kingdom actually works on the earth as you have left us numerous examples. I thank you for my wife, children, job, boss, supervisor, co-workers, house, apt., car, boat, motorcycle, and all the material possessions you granted me to obtain and the finances needed to maintain them. Thank you for my church, the pastor, the deacons, the administrators, door-keepers, maintenance team and all who upkeep the structure where we worship you. I glorify Your holy name and praise Your greatness and abundant mercy.
I believe you have an idea to tailor the praise and thanksgiving to meet your present situation and learn to be grateful. May God bless you to thank Him.
We will learn about spiritual wisdom and revelation to know who Jesus is on Sunday God willing.