Echoes. Reflections of sound, off of the hard surface of my soul. Never expect originality from an echo. These reverberations of encouragement originate from outside my life. I am only the interface. The source of the original acoustic is the spoken Word of The Word.
The communication of true prayer must spring from a relationship, and since it is a relationship with the Most High God, each prayer is sacred ground. Dallas Willard says that prayer is, “talking with God about what we are doing together.” When I walk up on prayer in Scripture, the intimacy and sacredness of the event is always an occasion to pause, to ponder, to consider the pattern, and then to pray it through. We are stepping into just such a place.
“For this reason…I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” Eph 1:15
We have walked in the heavenly realms through a treasure room of our rich spiritual blessings. Paul overwhelmed us there with the number and scope of the jewels that he quickly enumerated, then he connects the wealth of what we have in Christ, to prayer, by writing “for this reason”. By virtue of who I am in Christ, specific prayers for perception follow.
“I keep asking…may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.” Eph1: 17
Due to who I am in Christ, prayers for a Holy Spirit eye-opener of clarity and uncovering follow. I need to not only think clearly, but I need a revealing of what I need to think clearly about! Why do I need perception and enlightenment?…“so that I may know Him better.” As I pray this through I am praying that the Lord will grace me with my very own epiphany, that He will show Himself so that I will grow in an intimate relationship with Him. This is not praying to know more about Him, but praying to know Him more. In any relationship I am in, there must be levels of revelation in order to know the heart of the other. This prayer pattern teaches me to fervently pray that my relationship with the Lord will grow in intimacy.
“I pray 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…the incomparably great power for us who believe.” Eph 1:18
Due to who I am in Christ, prayers that my heart will light up with understanding follow. What is it that I have a need to understand? I need to anticipate with confidence and sure expectation that whatever the Lord has promised will come to pass. I need a sure grasp of the truth that nothing is lacking in what He has given me. I need to know the intense energizing of His mighty power, and I need realization that this power is resurrection power for me. These are tremendously life altering things to know!
The passion and purpose of this prayer almost carries me past an interesting facet. This is not a prayer that petitions for hope, riches, and power to be given, but that we would be aware of the hope, riches, and power we already possess. It is not a “Lord, give them” prayer, but a “Lord, help their spiritual eyes to see what is already possessed.”
In the vision of Obadiah, he looks and sees a time when Jacob will “possess his possessions.” (Obadiah 17) What if we, like Jacob, have riches that already belong to us, but that we have ignored and let go unused? Then we need to pray this pattern of prayer in Ephesians.
In his book, Be Rich, Warren Wiersbe shares an incident from the life of William Randolph Hearst, the affluent newspaper publisher. Hearst spent fortunes collecting art from all over the world. One day he heard about artwork that he yearned to obtain. He sent someone on a quest to find the artwork and purchase it. After a lengthy time searching, the employee was finally able to locate the items. The employee reported back to Hearst that he already owned them, and that they were sitting in Hearst’s own storage facility. He was in possession of something that did not benefit him, because he didn’t know what he had.
This prayer is for me. This prayer is for you. Do I know what I already have? Not know them like knowing about them, or knowing that they exist somewhere. Rather, do I know them because I am using them in a practical way, and I am enjoying the benefits of them?
Theologians call that difference, provision verses appropriation. I will ask simply, do you possess your possesions?