Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:3-23
Have you ever tried to describe something incredible―a beautiful sunset, a magnificent canyon, a massive mountain―but your words seem to fall flat? No matter how hard you try to describe it, you know that the only way others will be able to catch a glimpse of what you’re trying to describe is if they can somehow experience it themselves?
It seems that this is what the Apostle Paul may have felt as he tried to describe God’s grace in the book of Ephesians. As much as Paul tried to describe it, as both “glorious” and “lavish,” Paul knew that the best way for the Ephesians to fully understand what he was saying was for them to experience it themselves. So he prayed:
“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” (Ephesians 1:16-19).
Paul prayed that the “eyes of their heart” would be enlightened, that they would be able to know God―and God’s plans for them, and God’s inheritance for them, and God’s power for them―not just in their heads, but in their hearts.
It’s a prayer that I know God answers because I’ve seen Him answer it in my own life, and because I’ve seen Him answer it when I’ve prayed it for others.
The most memorable time I watched God answer this prayer was when I was praying for a woman who was dying of cancer. She believed in her head that God loved her, but because her battle with cancer had taken up so much of her life, she had trouble believing it in her heart. I went to see her to pray for her healing, but when we finally sat down to pray, I asked her what she would like me to pray for her. She said simply that she’d like to hear God’s voice, to hear him speak directly to her heart. She said she had been a Christian for so many years, yet she had never heard God speak to her personally.
It wasn’t that she hadn’t read the Bible, or hadn’t been to church. She had done both all her life. It was just that she didn’t feel that what she had read about God’s love and grace applied to her personally.
All I could do at that point was to pray. To pray that God would open the eyes of her heart. To pray that God would speak to her in a way that she could understand it and believe it personally, not just in her head, but deep inside her heart. So we prayed, and I went back home.
I got a call from her a few days later. She told me that she was sicker than she had ever been in her life. But she went on to say that even though she felt sicker than ever before, she felt, for the first time in her life, that God had truly spoken to her. She could hardly describe it, but she said that she went to a special church service that weekend and the speaker was talking about God’s lavish love from the book of Ephesians. And for the first time in her life, she felt that God was speaking those words directly to her.
In the weeks that followed, she and her husband took communion together every day, experiencing a sweet fellowship with each other and with the Lord until the day finally came that He took her home to commune with Him forever. God had answered her prayer.
If you’d like to experience God’s love and grace in a personal way, not just in your head, but deep inside your heart, let me encourage you to pray. Pray that God would open the eyes of your heart, that you may know Him better. Let Him pour out His glorious and lavish grace on you today.
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving me a glimpse of Your glorious and lavish grace. Thank You for telling me about it through the words of the Bible and through the words of those who have experienced it themselves. I pray that You would open the eyes of my heart so that I could know You better. Help me to experience Your glorious and lavish grace in a fresh way today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.