Saturday, January 03, 2015

Prayer list: revelation, wisdom

girl reading Bible
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ephesians 1:1-23

TO CHEW ON: "I … do not cease 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 to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him..." - Ephesians 1:16,17

Studying Paul's prayer here gives us clues about what to pray for ourselves and others. Paul tells the Ephesians his prayers for them include a request that God would give them  the "spirit of wisdom and revelation."

The writer of my Bible's notes on Ephesians says, "Wisdom and revelation are not to be interpreted as mystical. 'Wisdom' concerns practical, workable principles, 'revelation' refers to clear perception and applicable understanding" - Jack W. Hayford, notes on Ephesians, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1645.

I take that to mean, in plain language, revelation is a clear understanding what God's word says and means; wisdom is how to put it into practice in our lives.

What a great prayer to pray for ourselves, each other, pastors and members of our local church, and the Christian church all over the world. It's just as apropos today as it was in Paul's time as we struggle to live what the Bible teaches in the midst of our generation that lives (in North America at least) increasingly by the principles of relativism.*

PRAYER:  Dear God, I need this spirit of revelation and wisdom as I grapple with my society's redefinition of marriage and its general enforcement of political correctness that would pressure me to compromise living by the principles in Your word. Amen.

MORE: The best way to hear from the Spirit
"Eastern religions, and even some teachers of the Christian faith, propose that the best way to hear from God's Spirit ... is to empty your mind, accompanied by various breathing exercises. … Rather, the Scriptures affirm the best way to hear from the Spirit is to fill the mind with the Word of God, accompanied by careful reading and meditation on the sacred text. That's the best way to receive what the Spirit is speaking clearly" - Daniel Henderson, Transforming Prayer, p. 118.

*Relativism in the religious realm is also sometimes called pluralism. Tim Keller explains what this is and describes its impact on western society in the article "Religious and Philosophical Pluralism."


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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