Have you ever had a friend ask how they can pray for you? Sometimes this question is hard to answer because there are so many things, we cannot list them all. At other times we can’t think of any pressing need. It can be even harder when we are praying for someone else.
In Ephesians 1:15–23 Paul provides us with a template we can use when praying for others. Paul begins by giving thanks to God for the Ephesians (v. 15). When praying for others, we should not pray mechanically; we should give some thought to their life and circumstances beforehand.
Next, Paul asks God to increase their understanding. The Holy Spirit had already sealed the Ephesians (v. 13). But Paul prayed that the Holy Spirit would continue to give them wisdom and understanding so they would know Christ better. We can pray for the salvation of others. We can also pray that those who have already trusted in Christ would know Christ better. This involves more than knowing the truths of the Christian faith. The kind of understanding Paul prayed for affects the heart and produces hope. What is the nature of this hope? It is that those who belong to Christ are regarded as God’s inheritance (v. 18).
The Christian’s hope is the expectation that we will experience the power of God. This “incomparably great power for us who believe” is the same that “raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realm” (vv. 19–20). We know Christ both by faith and by experience. Pray that they will experience Christ’s resurrection power as they face today’s challenges. Ask God to show how Jesus is “head over everything for the church” and we are “the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (vv. 22–23).
>> Why not use Paul’s template to write a prayer for someone you know? You can also use it to pray for yourself!
Father, thank You for our believing friends who encourage us to follow You. Please bless them with the Spirit of wisdom and a growing relationship with You. Reveal to them Your great power as they face today’s gifts and challenges.