Paul Asks God For Divine Illumination (Eph. 1:17-20)
In this passage Paul elaborates on his teachings about the importance of prayer. He stresses the fact that it is only through our Heavenly Father that we can gain spiritual knowledge of what it means to be a Christian and truly appreciate and live in the “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Christianity is a “here and now” religion as well as an eternal one. God desires that we know His will. The passage we are writing about tell us of that desire and how to obtain the blessings. Paul prays for them to be enlightened, that is, to see clearly God’s work in Christ.
Denny Petrillo, President of the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver, writes these words, [One} will always be excited to find a prayer in a biblical writing, for prayers reveal what is really on the writer’s heart and mind. Does it make sense that Paul would say ‘this is what I’m praying about concerning you’ and then proceed to ignore the pints of that prayer in the Epistle.”
The first reason Paul gives for our needing God to open the eyes of our hearts is so we might know God better. In Colossians 1:9-10 Paul prays for God to give them wisdom so that they may continue “growing in the knowledge of God.” J. I. Packer, wrote that those who know God have four characteristics: great energy for God, great thoughts of God, great boldness for God, and great contentment in God.”
In Eph. 1:19 in The New American Standard Version, 4 words are used to refer to God’s supremacy. The four words are (1) power, (2) working, (3) strength, and (4) might. Denny Petrillo writes, “By using all of these terms Paul is stressing the point about as far as possible: God is at work with all of His omnipotence! …Here it is the demonstration of God’s power toward us who believe.”
Praise God that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly place in Christ.“ (Eph. 1:3) Although we may not completely comprehend this great blessing until we meet Him in the air”, or when we pass from this life to our eternal reward, we can be thankful of the love of God for us. It should motivate us to love Him more and love each other and strive to equipped for service.
-Larry Miles, April 30, 2015, in Mangum, OK