By: Chris Pate, Lead Pastor, City Life Church
Many times I am at a loss for words about what to pray. Especially when thinking about the daunting thought of praying for our city. With over seven million people in the greater Houston area, how can I even begin to cover such an awesome amount of people in prayer and where do I start?
Thankfully, the Apostle Paul wrote down one of his amazing prayers for the people in Ephesus, a port city that could have been a lot like Houston. Paul opens up his prayer life to us in the letter to the Ephesian church and gives us an amazingly challenging and insightful prayer.
“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...” Ephesians 1:16-17
Paul knows the needs of the Ephesians and, in fact, Paul has many of his own needs to pray for too. However, he chose to remember others in his continual thanksgiving and prayers for them. He doesn’t pray for his or their circumstances to change in this prayer, instead he goes straight to the root of his prayers for them. He asks for God to give them wisdom and revelation. Many of us pray for wisdom so we know how to get out of our bad situations and into better ones, or to solve the tough problems life hurls at us. What’s most profound about this prayer though is that he doesn’t just pray for general wisdom for them, he prays for a very specific wisdom and revealing/revelation for them. What wisdom and revelation did they truly need prayer for? That the glorious Father would give them wisdom and revelation in knowing Christ in a greater measure. This is very profound and instructive. My prayers for others should not just be for circumstantial change (although that’s not all bad) but better yet, a depth in truly knowing Christ. Beyond head knowledge, checking my true heart motivation. I believe this is a deep longing to truly know Him through experience and deep connection.
When was the last time you asked for a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him for yourself? What about for others? This is an amazing prayer to pray and one that I believe will truly establish deep roots in us to experience a revival that goes viral in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
Lord, thank you for the gift of your son to me and the richness of a relationship with you that’s beyond what I do and points to what Jesus has done. Open my eyes and the eyes of those in our churches and our city to know you deeply. Reveal your mind and heart to us at a greater degree so we can truly know you and know how to apply all we do for your glory. May we be one as you are one. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.