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Traditionally named Ephesians, this letter may not actually have been written to the believers in Ephesus. Some of the best early copies of the letter don’t include the phrase in Ephesus in the greeting. While Paul spent two years in Ephesus, this letter appears to address people Paul has never met.

Paul here presents a two-fold pattern, first explaining the new identity believers have in Christ and then bringing out the implications for their new way of life. God has brought everything together under the rule of the Messiah, exalting Jesus above all things. Paul echoes a phrase from Psalm 8—God placed all things under his feet—to show that Jesus is the truly human one. Jesus fulfills the original human calling to rule over the creation properly. Jews and Gentiles have been brought together into one body, with Jesus at the head. God is now creating one new humanity from all over the world through the reconciling work of the Messiah.

This means Jesus-followers must give up their former way of life and practice purity in daily living and integrity in their relationships. The reciprocal responsibilities of those in and under authority are used as key examples of the new kinds of relationships God is expecting. Paul cautions his readers that they are entering a spiritual battle. They must arm themselves with all the resources God has provided, until the Messiah brings unity to all things in heaven and on earth.




15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.



  1. Paul began the body of his letter by revealing the spiritual blessings that God has planned for believers in His Son. (v3-14) He then prayed that they would appreciate and appropriate these good things in their own lives. He moved from benediction to intercession.(v15-23)
  2. Paul’s prayer for the believers is that they might come to know God intimately (v17). This is so that we might better appreciate all spiritual blessings God’s given us:

The past: calling to salvation that gives us hope (v18), the future: inheritance that we constitute for God (v18), and the present: power of God available to us (v19).

God manifested this power in the past in Christ’s resurrection and ascension (v20-21). He will manifest it in the future by making Jesus Christ the head over all creation (v22). He is now manifesting this power in Jesus Christ’s headship over the church (v23).

  1. When you pray for fellow Christians, how do you usually pray for them? In what ways would you like your prayers be more like Paul’s?
  2. Use Paul’s prayer in vv17-19 to pray for the individuals in your church. How does praying this prayer affect your appreciation of God, yourself, the individuals you are praying for?  What will happen if your group prayed these verses every week for each other? Try it and see.



Who are you thankful for and what about them moves you to feel this way? Ask God to give them the same Spirit of wisdom and revelation that Paul describes (v. 17).



“My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness” –