A prayer to answer life’s 4 biggest questions

Many view the Apostle Paul’s prayer out of Ephesians 1:17-19 as one of the greatest prayers in the Bible.  It is a prayer that is so insightful yet so comprehensive that it is worth praying again and again, not only for others, but also for ourselves.   It is a prayer that has sustaining relevance yet today because it addresses what could be the four biggest questions of human existence:

1. How can I know God personally and have a relationship with him?  Ephesians 1:17 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.e. Lord show me YOUR PLACE in my life!

2. What is my purpose in life?   Ephesians 1:18  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,  i.e. Lord show me MY PLACE in you!

3. Where do I fit in relationships with other people?   Ephesians 1:18b  I pray. . .that you may know . . . the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,  i.e. Lord show me OTHERS PLACE in relationship to me!

4. How can I tap into a transforming power to be all that I can be? Ephesians 1:19  I pray. . . that you may know . . . his  incomparably great power for us who believe.  i.e. Lord release THE PLACE OF YOUR POWER in my life! 

When I was twenty-five years old and first began exploring Christianity as a seeker after truth – the essence of those four questions were the primary motivation for my search as I joined a small home Bible study.  My initial encounter with Jesus at that Bible study happened one night when I prayed and yielded the control of my life to him.  It was then that my eyes were first opened to see that the answers to those questions were amazingly found in him.

Throughout my Christian life I have frequently found myself drawn back to praying those verses.  For one thing, simply praying prayers right out of the Scriptures carries a special impetus because we know it is God’s will.  And knowing it is God’s will quickens faith to pray with a fervency and confidence. This is a prayer God loves to answer. (1 John 5:14-15)

When I think of people I know and love, particularly those who may be struggling with one or more of these four big questions in their lives, this prayer is the one I turn to.  It literally empowers me to beseech the Lord on their behalf with a great tenacity.  As I remind myself of how God has answered that prayer in my life and the lives of so many other people I am encouraged he is going to do the same for them.

Finally, and this is important, this is a prayer that I continue to pray for myself.  The longer a person walks with the Lord the deeper the realization there is of how desperately we need him.  For me, as with so many others, that manifests itself in an ever growing desire and longing for a progressive revelation in knowing him, discovering my purpose more fully, relating to others more lovingly and seeing God’s power released in my life in greater measure.

I have a suggestion.  The next time you set aside some time to pray, turn to Ephesians 1 and read the entire chapter.  Then using verses 17-19 pray that prayer for yourself and others.  You are certain to have a powerful time of prayer!

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