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4. Developing an Apostolic Prayer Life

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For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:15-20)

Selected by God to build the foundation of the church, the apostles did so by bearing witness to the resurrected Christ, by their teaching, and by prayer.

The apostles were noted for prayer. When there was a need to provide for the widows in the early church, the apostles couldn’t do it because they had to devote themselves to “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). When the leaders of the church at Antioch were fasting and praying, the Holy Spirit told them to set apart Paul and Barnabas for the ministry God had called them to (Acts 13:1-3). This was the beginning of Paul’s missionary journeys.

In addition, in the majority of the apostle Paul’s epistles to churches, he starts off sharing how he has been praying them (Rom 1:9-10, Phil 1:4, Col 1:9, etc.). Praying for God’s church was an important component of laying the foundation.

Although the foundation of the church has been laid and the original apostles have passed away, we can still have an apostolic ministry, specifically in the area of prayer. God wants to use us to build his church through prayer.

As we consider Ephesians 1:15-20, we learn principles of apostolic prayer—prayer that builds up God’s church.

Big Questions: How can we develop an apostolic prayer life? What principles can be discerned from Ephesians 1:15-20?

Apostolic Prayer Comes from a Right Heart—an Informed, Caring, and Consistent One

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (Ephesians 1:15-16)

While Paul was in prison, someone informed him about the faith of the Ephesians and their love for all the saints. It must be noted that faith and love are essential marks of genuine conversion. Those who truly have faith in Christ are new creations, old things are passed away, all things become new (2 Cor 5:17). One of the new things in the life of a true believer is love for other believers. Jesus says, “They will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another” (John 13:35, paraphrase). If we do not love our fellow believers, then we have not passed from death to life. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death” (1 John 3:14). And as Paul says in Romans 5:5, “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

The believers in Ephesus had experienced this outpouring, and therefore loved “all the saints”—not just the saints in their local congregation or city, but saints everywhere. They had been radically changed by God.

One of the things that should be noted about Ephesians 1:15 is how Paul says, “ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus.” It seems to be spoken as though he had never met these believers. The problem with this is that he had spent at least three years in Ephesus (Acts 20:31). For this reason, along with the fact that “in Ephesus” (Eph 1:1) is not in the early manuscripts, many scholars believe this letter was written not only to the Ephesians, but also to several other congregations in Asia Minor.1

Observation Question: What aspects of apostolic prayer can be discerned from Ephesians 1:15-16?

1. Apostolic prayer is informed.

Paul prays with gratitude because he has heard about the faith and love of these saints. It is hard to pray for things we know nothing about.

In order to cultivate our prayer lives, we must seek to be informed. This might include asking others for their prayer requests so we can constantly lift them up. It could include reading and watching the news so we can know how to pray for our nation and for the world in general. No doubt Paul is implying the need to be informed in Ephesians 6:18: “Be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” We must be alert to problems, events in general, and instances of spiritual warfare so that we can pray for all the saints.

If we do not stay informed, we will not be able to pray as we ought.

2. Apostolic prayer is caring.

Another aspect of Paul’s apostolic prayer is his care for the Ephesians—he has “not stopped giving thanks” for them. He is thankful for the Ephesians’ spiritual attainments and successes, which shows a great deal about his heart. Many do not rejoice when others succeed, whether spiritually, socially, or vocationally. Rather, a spirit of jealousy or anger creeps in, making them incapable of true prayer. We must have a selfless, caring heart in order to pray.

We must truly want the best for others. We must want them to know God, and to excel at work, church, school, and in their relationships. This is the type of heart needed to pray. Sadly, this is the reason many of us do not pray. We do not care about others as we should, but are much more concerned about ourselves.

3. Apostolic prayer is consistent.

Paul’s own prayers were consistent, and he commands all believers to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We see this consistency in his prayers for the Colossians and the Romans as well as the Ephesians.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9)

God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. (Romans 1:9-10)

Paul was constantly praying for the church, and this should be true of us as well. But how can we practice constant prayer—prayer without ceasing? Does this mean that we never stop praying all day long?

Not necessarily. The Greek word translated as “without ceasing” in ancient literature was used of a “hacking cough.”2 When a person has a bad cough, it is not that he never stops coughing. It’s that he coughs all day—the cough keeps coming back. We must do the same with our prayers. Throughout the day, we must constantly remember the church, our neighbors, our co-workers, our leaders, and the lost in general before God. Prayer must be our constant endeavor and focus throughout the day.

Apostolic prayer is informed, caring, and consistent.

Application Questions: How would you rate your prayer life on a scale of 1-10? What are some practical tips that can help us to be more faithful in prayer, and specifically in intercession?

Apostolic Prayer Focuses on Knowing God More

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (Ephesians 1:17)

Next, we begin to see the petitions within Paul’s prayer; he wants the believers to grow in understanding God, and in other spiritual truths. We see this in the use of the word “know” in verse 17, where he prays for the believers to have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they may know God better.

Commentator Kent Hughes points out some useful information about the word “know” as used in this text:

The regular Greek word for personal knowing is gnosis, but here the word is intensified with the preposition epi. Paul is asking for an epignosis—a “real, deep, full knowledge”—a “thorough knowledge”3

Paul wants these believers to have a deep and thorough knowledge of God. When we are first saved, we come to know God. As Christ says in his high priestly prayer to the Father, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3). In speaking to the false professors in Matthew 7:23, he says, “I never knew you.” To be saved is to know God.

Paul wasn’t praying for these believers to know God, for they all did. He was praying for a deep and experiential knowledge of God which would continue until they got to heaven. In speaking about Christ’s coming and the eternal state, Paul says, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

In the eternal state, we will have an intimate knowledge of God which is currently unattainable for us. However, this should be our goal here on earth. Paul says this in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”

After leaving everything for Christ, Paul said his continual endeavor for the rest of his life was knowing God, and it should be ours as well. In Latin, there is a phrase “summum bonum” which means, “the greatest good out of which all good flows.” For them, the greatest good was knowing God, and it was from this knowledge that everything good flowed—peace, love, joy, service, justice, and mercy all flow from this knowledge. And therefore, this must be our continual pursuit in life.

Interpretation Question: How can believers get to know God better?

We can learn several insights about getting to know God better from Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17.

1. Believers can know God better by praying for this knowledge.

Paul prays for this church to come to a deeper knowledge of God. He prayed because that was one of the ways it would happen. We must pray for it as well. We must pray this for ourselves and others. We must ask God to make himself known. This is exactly what Moses did. He prayed to God, “Show me your glory.” (Ex 33:18). And God did.

We must pray this way as well. We must pray that he will reveal himself through the Word of God, worship, service, and our daily jobs. This must be our continual petition as we go throughout the day: Lord, help me and others to know you more. Those who pray these types of prayers will grow in intimacy with God.

2. Believers can know God better by relying on the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Paul prays for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph 1:17). There is some controversy over what he means by the word “Spirit.” Is he referring to the Holy Spirit, the human spirit, or something else? The NIV translators interpret it as the Holy Spirit.

This is because it is impossible to know God or have revelation about him apart from the Holy Spirit. In John 16:13, the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth, meaning that his job is to lead us into truth about God.

First Corinthians 2:14 says this, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Apart from the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand anything about God. He is the one who reveals truth to us.

Now with that said, since Paul is writing to believers, he is not praying for them to have the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 1:13-14, he says that believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit and that he is a deposit in them guaranteeing their inheritance. How can he then pray for them to have the Spirit?

Paul is clearly referring to the Holy Spirit’s ministry. He prays that the Holy Spirit would give these believers revelation about God through the Word of God, creation, events, and the witness of other believers. And he also prays for wisdom to apply this knowledge.

Christ says something similar to his disciples in Luke 11:11-13:

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Again, in speaking to believers, he is not telling them to pray for the Holy Spirit but rather for the ministry of the Spirit. He encourages them to ask and trust that God will give it to them. God wants to give believers every good gift that comes from the Holy Spirit.

3. We come to know God better by having the right disposition.

However, other commentators think Paul is not referring to the Holy Spirit but to a right disposition. John MacArthur says this:

But like our English spirit, pneuma sometimes was used of a disposition, influence, or attitude—as in “He is in high spirits today.” Jesus used the word in that sense in the first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3). He was not referring to the Holy Spirit or to the human spirit but to the spirit, or attitude, of humility.4

The reason people have different views on the word “spirit” is because both are true. We need the Holy Spirit to know God, but we also need the right disposition to know God.

A person with a disposition of wisdom and revelation is a person who desires to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God. He hungers for God. Without a hunger to know God, we won’t ever get to know him deeply. Many Christians are simply content with their spiritual lives and their knowledge of God. They don’t have an inner disposition pushing them to pursue God and to know his voice and Word more. This type of disposition will never know God intimately.

Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” We must have a heart that draws near God to find him. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

If we really hunger to know God more, then he will reveal himself to us. Do you hunger and thirst for his Word? Do you hunger and thirst for his presence? Listen to the prayer in Psalm 42:1-2: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

Is this your disposition—famished apart from the knowledge of God? This is the disposition we must have. This is the disposition we must ask God for—for ourselves and for others.

If we are going to know God, we must labor constantly in prayer, as Paul did. We must pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal God, and we must also pray that God will give us the right disposition to receive and know him more.

Application Questions: How would you rate your hunger to know God more? What things temper your hunger for the greatest good—God? How can we increase our hunger to know God more?

Apostolic Prayer Focuses on Knowing the Hope of God’s Plan for the Saints

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, (Ephesians 1:18)

Next, Paul prays for these believers to know the hope to which God called them. Hope is very important because it guides our lives. If a person hopes to be a doctor, he focuses on the sciences and studies diligently. Hope drives the direction of his life.

If Christians don’t have the right hope, they will live for this world and thus often find themselves discouraged and depressed. This is why Paul prays for these believers to have their hearts enlightened so they will know the hope to which God called them.

When he says “heart,” he is using a figurative expression for the mind, will, and emotions. Unlike the contemporary use of “heart,” it is not primarily emotional. He wants their inner man to be completely enlightened to the hope of their calling.

Interpretation Question: What type of calling is Paul referring to?

Scripture typically refers to two types of calls. There is the general call of the gospel which goes to all people. Romans 10:13 says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (KJV). Everybody is offered the gospel—this is the general call. Theologians call the second one the effectual call—the call that is effective and results in a person’s salvation. Look at how Paul uses this word in Romans 8:29-30:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

In talking about those God foreknew and predestined to be like Christ, Paul says that God called them, justified them, and glorified them. In this passage, he refers to the effectual call—the call that leads to salvation. When God effectually called us, it wasn’t just about salvation—it was for so much more. It spans God’s work before creation, in us now, and throughout eternity.

This call motivated Paul, and it should motivate us as well. He says this in Philippians 3:13-14:

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

He pressed forward to win the prize for which God “called” him heavenward. Paul put his hope in the call, and it drove his life.

The very reason so many Christians live such earthly lives is because they have a very low understanding of their call and how God wants to use them.

Interpretation Question: What does the hope of our calling include?

1. The hope of God’s calling includes righteous works on earth.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God saved us to serve him. To Jeremiah he says, “‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’” (Jeremiah 1:5). God called him to be a prophet before he was born. Paul, similarly, was called to be an apostle (1 Cor 1:1).

Each one of us has a call to serve God and glorify him on earth. We are his workmanship. This means the trials and difficulties we encounter are not haphazard or pointless. They are like the work of a craftsman chipping away at a rock—creating a masterpiece that brings glory to himself.

We need to hear this, especially as the enemy constantly lies to us and tries to tell us we are purposeless and evolutionary accidents. No, God has a specific calling—with specific works—for each individual.

2. The hope of God’s calling includes Christ’s coming and our resurrected bodies.

First John 3:2-3 says,

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

John says that those who truly hope in this reality purify themselves. The fact that Christ is coming, that we will be resurrected, and that we will be like him when we see him is a motivation to live holy and righteous lives. Those who have no hope in Christ’s second coming and resurrection live secular, earthly lives. Yes, we must pray for our hearts to be enlightened to this so we can live the pure lives God called us to.

3. The hope of his calling includes the restoration of creation at our resurrection.

Romans 8:19-21 says,

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

When Adam sinned, God cursed the ground. Creation is connected to humanity. In fact, when humanity is living in sin, creation still reacts. In Leviticus 18:28, God commands Israel to not practice sexual immorality, homosexuality, bestiality, and the offering of their children to Molech lest the land vomit them up. The land would react to sin, as it did at the fall.

But, when God restores humanity to righteousness, when the sons of God are resurrected, all creation will be restored as well. This is a tremendous hope. Even though Christians are persecuted and mocked for their beliefs and the way they live, they are the salt of the earth. They are tremendously valuable to all of creation. One day, creation will be set free into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We must continually hope in this, and this hope must drive us.

4. The hope of his calling includes ruling and serving with Christ in the kingdom.

When the Corinthian church was arguing and suing one another, Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 6:1-4:

If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!

In essence, Paul is saying, “Why are you hiring the world to judge your disputes? Don’t you know that one day you will judge angels? So, how much more should you judge the temporary things of this life? If you really have this hope, it should change how you interact with one another. After all, one day you will rule and judge with Christ!” Romans 8:17 says we are “co-heirs” with Christ. Whatever belongs to Christ is also ours.

If we really have this hope, we will stop being so consumed with the temporary kingdom of this world. Why live for what’s temporary when the eternal is surpassingly better? Why live to rule on this earth, when we are called to rule in the new heaven and the new earth? Christ says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5).

What is your hope in? Is your hope earthly or heavenly? In the same way people with an earthly hope are motivated and driven by it, the hope of our calling in Christ should motivate us. Let us pray for the eyes of our heart to be enlightened and understand the hope of our calling in Christ. Let us pray to be driven by eternal hope.

Application Questions: What hopes drive your life? Why is it so hard to be motivated by our eternal calling? How can we make sure that the hope of our eternal calling is really directing us?

Apostolic Prayer Focuses on Knowing God’s Inheritance in the Saints

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, (Ephesians 1:18)

Next, Paul pray for these believers to understand the riches of God’s glorious inheritance in the saints. This reality was continually taught about Old Testament Israel. God chose them from all the nations of the earth to be his special inheritance. Deuteronomy 32:9 says, “For the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.”

However, in Ephesians, Paul wrote to both Jews and Gentiles in the church (Eph 3:6). Just as Old Testament Israel was God’s great inheritance, so now is the church. This is taught in many New Testament verses:

while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:13-14)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

To Titus, Paul said God was purifying for himself a people that were “his very own,” eager to do what is good. Peter said the church was “a people belonging to God.” I’m not sure that we can fully grasp this reality with our limited minds. Listen to what several commentators said about this:

William MacDonald says:

It is certainly an exhibition of unspeakable grace that vile, unworthy sinners, saved through Christ, could ever occupy such a place in the heart of God that He would speak of them as His inheritance.5

Kent Hughes adds:

Think of it: he owns all the heavens and numberless worlds, but we are his treasures. The redeemed are worth more than the universe. We ought to be delirious with this truth! Paul prays that we will see this with our heart’s eyes.6

Application Question: How should we apply this deep reality of believers being God’s inheritance?

1. As believers we must remember how much God delights in us and cares for us.

Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

God delights in us, he sings over us, and he wants us to have peace in knowing how much he cares for us. As a father, it would hurt my heart for my daughter to be running around frantic and worried about what she will eat, drink, and wear. As her father, I am committed to providing for her. In an even greater way, we are God’s, and he will take care of us (cf. Matt 6:26).

This is especially important to understand when the enemy comes to tempt and make us doubt God’s goodness and love for us. This is what he did with Eve in the Garden—tempting her to doubt God and then sin against him. Our enemy still does this today. We must trust that God delights in us and cares for us.

2. As believers we must seek to give God pleasure through our lives.

As we consider that we are God’s inheritance, we must continually seek to please God in everything, for that is why he created us. Consider what Paul prayed for the Colossians:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking … that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, (Colossians 1:9-10)

Paul desired for the Colossians to please God in every way. In addition, the Psalmist prayed, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). Understanding that we are God’s inheritance should motivate us to please him in our every action and attitude.

Application Question: What does the concept of believers being God’s inheritance make you think of? How does this reality encourage or challenge you?

Apostolic Prayer Focuses on Knowing God’s Great Power in the Saints

and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, (Ephesians 1:19-20)

Finally, Paul wants us to comprehend God’s great power towards us who believe. It can actually be translated “in us” (cf. Jubilee Bible 2000, Aramaic Bible in Plain English).7 In fact, in verse 19, he uses “four different Greek synonyms to emphasize the greatness of that power”.8 Kent Hughes’ comments are helpful. He says:

With the Greek synonyms inserted, verse 19 reads like this: “… and his incomparably great power [dunamis] for us who believe. That power [kratos] is like the working [energia] of his mighty strength [ischus].” Paul has layered these synonyms to express as best he can the highest power possible. He exhausted his language describing this power of the resurrection (see v. 20).9

Paul is trying to help us comprehend how great the power of God working in us is. It is the same power God used to raise Christ from the dead. Believers need this power for many reasons.

Application Question: Why has God given us this power and why is it necessary for us to access it?

1. This great power is necessary for us to grow in holiness.

Second Peter 1:3 says:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

This great power is available to both help us escape the corruption in the world and also to continually grow into the image and character of God.

2. This great power is necessary for us to minister to others.

Paul says:

To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:29)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Whatever God has called us to do, he has given us the power to accomplish. We must realize this.

3. This great power is necessary to keep our salvation.

First Peter 1:5 says, “who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” God’s power is shielding us until the completion of our salvation—which is when we will look just like Christ. Those who are truly born again will not lose their salvation because God’s power keeps them. Christ puts believers in his Father’s hand and he places them in his own hand as well. No one will be able to snatch them out of their hands (John 10:28-29).

4. This great power is necessary to complete our salvation, as we will one day be resurrected.

Romans 8:11 says, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” The same Spirit and power that raised Christ from the dead will one day raise us from the dead. Thank you, Lord!

The final aspect of apostolic prayer is interceding for ourselves and others to know God’s great power within us. Are you interceding to know and experience God’s power? Are you asking God to allow others to know and experience it in their home life, marriage, work, and ministry?

In Ephesians 1:20-23, Paul describes how great this power is. God used it to raise Christ from the dead, to seat him in the heavens over the demonic realm, and to make Christ the head of the church. This incomparable great power is at work in us. In the next study, we will give attention to the incomparable greatness of God’s power towards us.

Application Question: Why do most Christians live powerless lives? What keeps us from commonly accessing God’s power?

Conclusion

How can we develop an apostolic prayer life? What principles can we discern from Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15-20?

  1. Apostolic prayer comes from a right heart—an informed, selfless, consistent one.
  2. Apostolic prayer focuses on knowing God more.
  3. Apostolic prayer focuses on knowing the hope of God’s plan for the saints.
  4. Apostolic prayer focuses on knowing God’s inheritance for the saints.
  5. Apostolic prayer focuses on knowing God’s great power in the saints.

Copyright © 2016 Gregory Brown

Unless otherwise noted, the primary Scriptures used are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked KJV or AKJV are from the King James Version or Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible.

All emphases in Scripture quotations and commentators’ quotations have been added.


1 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1912). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

2 Cole, Steven. “Lesson 2: The Realities of Serving God (Nehemiah 2:1-20)”. Retrieved 1/15/15 from  https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-2-realities-serving-god-nehemiah-21-20

3 Hughes, R. K. (1990). Ephesians: the mystery of the body of Christ (p. 52). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

4 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1986). Ephesians (p. 44). Chicago: Moody Press.

5 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1913). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

6 Hughes, R. K. (1990). Ephesians: the mystery of the body of Christ (p. 53). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

7 Accessed December 31, 2015 from http://biblehub.com/ephesians/1-19.htm

8 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1986). Ephesians (p. 46). Chicago: Moody Press.

9 Hughes, R. K. (1990). Ephesians: the mystery of the body of Christ (pp. 53–54). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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