Thoughts on the Holy Scriptures, 33rd week after Pentecost

Ephesians 1:16-23 I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

How should we pray for someone? St Paul gives a good example here. He prays:

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints…”


St Paul understood that the Christian life is about knowledge. The “spirit of wisdom” encompasses knowledge about the true nature of things, of which he mentions non exclusively three: knowledge of Jesus Christ, knowledge about our calling and about our inheritance.


What kind of life would we lead if we fully knew the revelation of Christ, and, as a natural result of this, a full understanding of our calling? Since in order to know someone, we must become like him, and participate in his life by action, to have full revelation “of the knowledge of Him” is to completely cast off sin, and become holy and good, a secure possessor of the peace which Christ offers to us.


We need not pray that “So and So” “stop this”, or “start that”, because the fulfillment of the simple prayer that they will have the “spirit of wisdom…” encompasses all changes in their life necessary for their happiness.


The only prayer actual necessary for anyone, is “Lord have mercy”, but we must know what we are praying for. To ask God for mercy is to ask for help in all things, so that we may have given unto us “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of (our) understanding being enlightened; that (we) may know what is the hope of his calling”


The reading and understanding of the scriptures is so very important if we are to have powerful prayer. While it is easier to concentrate when we only say “Lord have mercy”, or some derivative, like the Jesus prayer, within our soul must be the understanding of what this prayer means – what we are asking for. St Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is one example of what we should be praying for when we pray for others (and ourselves).

Our Father, we beg mercy from Thee, and that through Thy son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, we unworthy ones may be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of thy Son, and that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of our calling and the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. And remind us forgetful ones of the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. Amen.

Daily readings and reflections, available at http://www/orthodox.net/scripture

Share

Leave a Reply