Prayer for Spiritual Insight
Open Your Bible
Ephesians 1:15-19, Proverbs 2:1-11, Romans 8:18-27
In the early spring, my family and I began forging trails throughout our woods. We moved homes in deep midwinter, and we knew if we wanted trails in these dense woods, we would have to start them before the leaves returned or the ground cover made it impossible to beat a path. So all eight of us, plus a big dog, have been trodding heavily in and through the mud for months.
When the mayapples and trillium started covering the paths, we picked flowers and continued stomping. The leaves burst out from the trees almost overnight after a big storm, and branches we hadn’t noticed enough to trim back were whacking us in the face on the new trails. We watched spring happen on our feet this year—the succession of blooms culminating in the crisp, white blackberry flowers has arrested our attention like never before. Now summer is here, and all at once, we are shoulder to shoulder with trees, our barren trails made into green, leafy hallways throughout the wood.
Fruit that lay dormant burst forth and winter gives way to life again and again. Paul opens his letter to the Ephesians with a prayer that sums up the whole intent of Scripture: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18). This is a prayer for insight, for revelation, for wisdom, for illumination. The central message of God’s Word to believers is not about what we do, but about what God does in us. The fruitfulness of the Christian life begins with the implanted Word, and the illumination of His Spirit.
Paul reminds us that the gospel arrests us in the midst of our winter deadness, and it is the power of Christ that enlivens and enlightens us. He has not left us dead in our trespasses, but has given us a new hope and the wealth of our inheritance in Christ. He does not leave us to our own abilities but grants us the greatness of His power and strength.
These are the promises of the gospel. These are also the truths that we are so quick to forget. We do indeed need the eyes of our hearts enlightened. We too often fixate on the “sufferings of this present time” (Romans 8:18), and fail to look outward and upward. But when we fix our eyes on the glory of Christ, we also are able to see the transforming power of that hope in the present.
Because we are numbered among the saints, we no longer live in the barren winterland, but now walk in newness of life, full of His hope, His strength, His wisdom, His wealth. Therefore, like Paul, we should never stop giving thanks, should never cease from prayer and praise.