Having heard glowing reports about the Ephesians’ faith and love, Paul can’t help but be thankful. “I do not cease to give thanks for you,” he says, “remembering you in my prayers” (Eph 1:16). Why shouldn’t he be thankful? God raised these people up out of a city full of demonic activity. Against all the odds, Paul’s ministry was successful. People were praising Jesus Christ in a place known historically for its rampant idolatry. Of course, Paul was thankful.
Even so, he wanted them to experience more. He wanted them to know the fulness of God’s grace. There’s a reason that the church has pastors and teachers in addition to evangelists. A Christian’s life isn’t complete just because he has heard the gospel and believed. Sanctification lasts a lifetime. We’ll never stop learning about God and what he has done. We’ll never exhaust the precious information given to us through Scripture.
So Paul prays for believers. Specifically, he prays to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory (Eph 1:17). Do you see the link here between God and Jesus? Once again, Paul refers to Christ as Lord, but he also acknowledges that he is the Son of God. He shares God’s divine nature.
The essence of Paul’s prayer is this: “Lord, I don’t want your people continually searching for what they already possess. I don’t want them to be confused about your promises. I want them to see what you have already made available, reach out, and take hold of it.”
Have you ever lost your keys? You search high and low for them. After awhile, you become so desperate to find them that you begin looking in some of the strangest places. You find yourself shuffling meat in the back of the freezer as though it were even a possibility that you dropped your keys in there. About thirty minutes later, you glance down only to realize that they were in your hand the entire time.