“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
Those for whom Paul is praying were once “spiritually blind” walking around in “spiritual darkness.” We are called from darkness to walk in His marvelous light for a reason – to fight and defeat the enemy so that others may come into the light of His love and life and be freed by the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead. This is the victory that overcomes the world – even our faith!
1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
One way to build our own prayer lives, and to direct our intercession for others, is to model our prayers on those found in Scripture.
Here we see a prayer Paul offered with the intention of strengthening Christ’s church. What did Paul ask?
That we might know God better (Ephesians 1:17). That we might look beyond appearances, to see the church as God does—a people transformed to display His glory, unspeakably precious to Him (Ephesians 1:18). That we might sense and experience the working of “His incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19a).
Wrestling. Well-conditioned bodies with bulging muscles straining and pressing. He who is quickest and wisest in the use of his strength wins. That’s the picture of “mighty” in Paul’s prayer — muscle power.
War. Those who would defend their territory fight from fortifications. Whether tall towers and thick walls above ground or bunkers buried in the earth, the shelter is built to be strong.
We wrestle against powers in the spiritual realm. Our battles require strength to resist temptations and to overcome evil thoughts.
Jesus wrestled with the evil one and prevailed. In the wilderness He overcame through declaring the Word of God. In Gethsemane He prevailed through yielding to the will of His Father — then an angel came and strengthened Him.
As we speak the Word of God and pray in agreement with the will of God, the mighty power of the Resurrection is released. As we believe in the Word of God that we speak, evil thoughts are made subject to the power of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The Lord is our Fortress, our Rock, our Shield. His nature within strengthens us in the face of the pressure to serve self or to become discouraged.
His nature within also empowers us to love God with all of our heart, mind and strength!
Father, I am more confident in resisting evil knowing that the mighty power of the Resurrection is available to me. Today, I pray for fellow believers throughout the world to be strengthened with might in their hearts — to resist evil and love You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Teaching the Word Ministries,
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
by: Martin Luther
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.
As inspiring the words of Martin Luther’s hymn of the faith, it is quite a sobering fact when taken in light of his great fall from the heights he scaled in the things of God when he fell from grace to turn from love to embrace a false doctrine towards the Jewish peoples. This paved the way to the Nazi Socialist Party which Hitler used to attempt annihilation of the people of God.
1 Corinthians 10:12
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (ESV)
This verse is closely related to Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Luke 12, “...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. ”
2 Peter 1:2-11,
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”