PRAYER FOR SPIRITUAL WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE (EPHESIANS 1: 16-18)
Dear Members in Christ,
Prayer for spiritual wisdom and knowledge (Ephesians 1: 16-18)
We are well aware that wisdom and knowledge are virtues that a Christian ought to possess. But what is spiritual wisdom and knowledge? Is it some knowledge that is outside of this physical realm, that only a few specially gifted persons can possess? Or is it something available and accessible to every believer?
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he wrote to them to encourage them for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By this, he expresses gratitude to God for indeed faith comes only by the working of God’s Holy Spirit, therefore we are thankful to God for every elect who comes to the knowledge of salvation. The Apostle Paul also shares with them his desire for God to grant them the spirit of wisdom and knowledge. He writes,
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 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,” (Ephesians 1:15-18)
A. Spiritual wisdom – a gift for all believers
The opening salutation of the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians was addressed to, “the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” It is a communication for all Christians since the term “saints” and “faithful” both refer to Christians. This is further reinforced in the Apostle Paul’s writing when he adds in verse 15 that God’s gracious gift of the spirit of wisdom and the revelation of knowledge is a petition for those who possess “faith in the Lord Jesus.” This he says, “after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus … making mention of in my prayers.”
Some pointers about wisdom are apparent to the reader. Firstly, spiritual wisdom is a gift for all believers, as Paul says in verse 17 it is a gift that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you.” The term “spirit of wisdom” means the spiritual wisdom which illumines the Christian’s heart and causes him to see and know the truth which God reveals in His word.
Secondly, it is His prayer for them to have the “spirit of wisdom and the revelation in the knowledge of Him” that they may be enlightened, and that they may know the hope of His calling. Quite clearly, this is a gift for all believers. The “knowledge in the revelation of Him” refers to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, but not just that, it is an all-encompassing term. A term that covers the knowledge of the nature and attributes of the Lord Jesus, His life and His ministry and His works of atonement for us, His plan of salvation and sanctification for us, and our glorification in Him. In truth, it is the knowledge that we can access and comprehend by reading the scriptures.
Brothers and sisters, let us pray for God’s gift of spiritual wisdom, let us strive to know more and more about the Lord Jesus. Wisdom is within reach for any who seek it, it is within reach, it may be sought by reading your bible.
B. God’s purpose of giving us spiritual wisdom and revelation
It is God’s will that we mature in our faith and that we walk close to Him. For this purpose, the bible reveals to us the reason our heavenly Father wants us to have the spirit of wisdom. The purpose is that 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.” There are three beneficial consequences of possessing the spirit of wisdom.
Firstly, the Christian’s understanding is enlightened. This is like a blind man undergoing the restoration of his sight, it is an eye-opening experience. Undoubtedly this is a spiritual gift that only God can bestow. Secondly, this enlightenment gives the believer knowledge of the hope of God’s calling. The elect’s journey in coming to know faith in the salvation work of the Lord Jesus is God’s calling. But the hope of this calling is not apparent to us unless we know what is revealed in scriptures about our sanctification and our final glorification.
Thirdly, that we may know the riches or abundance or the glorious beauty of the glorification which awaits us. While we are in this fleshly body, bound by time and space and our inherent weaknesses, this glorification is clear to us. But the bible does instruct us on the riches and treasures that we shall inherit. We shall put on the incorruptible, we shall possess eternal life, we shall partake of the eternal fellowship in the presence of God. Oh! What great joy and gladness the glories that the Lord Jesus has purchased for us by His sacrificial death for us to redeem us from sin and death.
Beloved, let us be grateful to God, let us pray earnestly for one another that we may possess the spirit of wisdom. Let us know that God has given us His precious word that we may be enlightened to know the hope of our calling, and may our lives be a life of service and devotion to Him. Amen.
Dn. Lim Seh Beng