JANUARY 6 , 2023
Praying To Know God’s Will
Paul - “I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called - His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.” (Ephesians 1:16-18)
When I mention to people that I’ve been praying for them, they sometimes ask, “What are you praying for when you pray for me?” Now, if they’ve submitted a prayer request, I’m praying for the concern they’ve asked us to pray for. But if I’m prompted to pray for people when they haven’t submitted a request, I’m usually praying for them to have the discernment to know God’s will and for them to have the faith to do God’s will when they come to know His will. That’s because I believe that “living in God’s will” is the key to success in a person’s life.
In today’s Scripture passage, Paul is praying for the Christians in Ephesus to know and do God’s will. There are several key words in this Scripture that help us to understand that. The word “wisdom” is the Greek word, “Sophia.” That word referred to the “highest and noblest of wisdom, or wisdom that comes from God.” It’s a word that refers to the deep things of God. Paul wanted the Ephesian Christians to be led deeper into their knowledge of the eternal truths of God. The word, “insight” (“revelation” in some translations) is the Greek word, “apocalipsis.” It’s the same word for the title of the Book of Revelation. Literally, the word means a “revelation,” an “unveiling” or an “uncovering.” Paul’s words tell us that the Lord wants us to know what He thinks, what He wants and what His will is for our lives. Then Paul writes, “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called.” Those words tell us that Paul understood the Lord wants us to fully and completely understand His calling, purposes, and plans for our lives.
Knowing the Lord’s wisdom, ways, and will brings blessings to our lives. But having that knowledge also helps us to “grow in our knowledge of God” (Ephesians 1:17). The word for “knowledge” here is not the normal word for “knowledge” in the Greek language. That word is the word “gnosis” which means “an awareness of.” The word here in Ephesians 1:27 is the Greek word “Epignosis,” which means “a deep and full knowledge of God.” In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul wrote, “Now I know in part (the word is “gnosis”, initial knowledge), but then I shall know fully (the word is “epignosis”).” All of this tells us that the Lord wants us to know Him fully, intimately, completely, totally - He wants us to know Him better than we know anyone or anything. As we pursue that goal, we’ll begin experiencing more of God’s peace, power and provision in our lives.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Think about what activities would help you know the Lord better (Bible reading and prayer, Life Group involvement, faithful Worship attendance, serving in ministry, etc.), and make a plan to add those activities to your schedule. (For a family activity, ask your family which of the above activities could best help your family know God better. Then, discuss how you might better engage in one of these activities as a family.)
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, help me to take the steps I need to take to know You better, so I can discover more of Your wisdom, will and ways for my life. In the name of Jesus, Amen.