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. Ephesians 1:18
It is a wonderful thing when someone lets you know that they are praying for you, especially when you haven’t specifically asked them to pray regarding a need in your life. This week I got a text from a friend who lives in a different time zone. She told me that she had been praying for me during her prayer walk that morning. She was praying for me before my day had even started. I had no idea of what she talked to God about, but throughout the day as challenges and blessings came, I imagined what her conversation with God was like. Knowing she prayed for me empowered me to live my day with purpose and courage.
In this passage, Paul is telling the members of the church of Ephesus that he was praying for them. He was in prison, yet he was praying for them. He starts this section by not only telling them he is praying regularly for them (vs 16), but he goes on to tell them what he is asking God to do for them. This not only encourages and empowers the church members, but teaches them how to pray for each other.
Paul asks God to enlighten the eyes of their heart. The Passion translation says “illuminate the eyes of your imagination”. Living life by faith requires imagination. Sometimes our imagination gets consumed with the facts of life – the jam-packed schedule, the wayward child, the financial shortfall. Paul is showing us a higher form of imagination – the wild imagination of a child, where if something can be imagined, it is possible. Paul asks God to reveal to our imagination what He is calling us to, like a spiritual lightbulb moment when we see the richness of this amazing life of living for Him. This can bring us past imagining the facts of life, to the truth of God’s purpose which is more than we can comprehend. (Ephesians 3:20)
Paul concludes this chapter by continuing his teaching on the identity of the believer. As adopted sons and daughters of God, chosen and beloved we are entitled to boldly access His power, the very same power which was in Jesus as He rose from the dead (vs 20). Imagine what that power can do in our lives, and our world! Paul prays with exuberance and passion because He knows that the revelation of the true identity of each believer will empower them to live out the purpose God designed and will ultimately bring glory back to Himself. Paul concludes with a reminder that Jesus is ultimately exalted as the head of the church, and the believers are His body on this earth. Jesus fills the church with His presence and blessing. If we use our imagination, God can light it up with how much greater a purpose He has given us than our own plans and dreams. He created us for so much more – just imagine it!
God has created us with an imagination that needs to be cultivated towards Him. What is one area of your life where you can cultivate seeing the hope to which God has called you?