A Prayer To Know God Better
By Alvin J. VanderGriend
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe" (Eph. 1:17-19).
Paul believed that the greatest need of the Ephesian Christians was to know God better. That may also be the greatest need in the church today. One important way Paul worked to help make this happen was to pray for it to happen.
Paul starts by telling us whom he prays to – "the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father." Our confidence when praying is not in prayer itself but in the One to whom we pray – our Father in heaven. Good fathers by their very nature want to love, to protect, to provide, to guide, and to embrace their sons and daughters. It is the nature of our heavenly Father to do all of these things, and God does them to perfection. That is why we can come to God with absolute confidence.
Paul’s entire prayer here is about helping people we know and love to know God better. Do not be satisfied for your loved ones simply to know about the Bible, or about God, or even to know God a little. Pray this model prayer for them, asking the Father to help them "know Him better." Knowing about God and knowing God are not the same as knowing God well.
Knowing God well means knowing what God is really like – how He thinks, what He wills, how He works, and how He feels about you. It means knowing what gives God pleasure and what evokes His wrath. It means wanting what God wants. It means sharing God’s joys and His pain.
What Paul asked for in order to make this happen was "the Spirit of wisdom and revelation." The Spirit knows God perfectly and is the One Who can help us know God better and better, for the Spirit lives in our hearts.
People who know God well have "the eyes of their hearts enlightened" to know these things:
1. "The hope to which He has called [them]." When the Bible uses the word "hope," it does not mean a strong wish or desire as in common speech today. It means being absolutely certain because God has promised it. Knowing God gives us a certainty about where we are going. It gives us "hope."
2. "The riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints." To know God well is not only to be certain where we will spend eternity but also to know just how good it will be – a glorious inheritance.
3. "His incomparably great power for us who believe." To know God well is to know His great power by experience, to lean on it, to feel it, and to have it coursing through our veins as we live for God in the midst of a crooked and perverse worldly culture.
Is this what you want for yourself and for the people you intercede for? Then ask the Father for these things. He will hear!
How well do you know God? As a starting point, think about a person you know really well, and compare your "knowing" God to the way you know that other person.
How would you go about getting to know God better? What place does prayer have in that process?
Spend some time thinking about the hope of your future, the riches you will inherit, and God’s great power at work in you.
Praise "the Spirit of wisdom and revelation" for what He knows and for His willingness to reveal it to you and to the people you pray for.
Thank God for His willingness to use His "incomparably great power" to secure your salvation now and for eternity.
If you have made little effort to "know Him better," confess that to God and ask His forgiveness. Claim the forgiveness that God freely offers you.
Ask "the glorious Father" to help you and those you love to "know Him better."
Decide what you will personally do to get to know God better. Could that include things like reading and studying God’s Word, being part of a Bible study group, taking a personal spiritual retreat, going to church or reading helpful Christian literature?
– Taken from Love to Pray by Alvin VanderGriend. Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of the author.
Love to Pray is a 95-page booklet, "a 40-Day Devotional for deepening your prayer life." In the preface of the booklet, the author, Alvin VanderGriend, writes: "This booklet is written for persons who want to learn to love to pray. It is intended to help you grow strong in prayer, to gain more from prayer, and to pray more effectively for those around you.... Life’s greatest privilege is to know God and to commune with Him, the great God of the universe. You can do that anytime, anywhere, in prayer. May God bless you richly as you embark on this adventure of learning to love to pray."
If your desire is to grow stronger in prayer, Herald of His Coming invites you to write us for a free copy of Love to Pray while supplies last. Because our supply is limited, we ask that you request only one copy. You may write to:
Herald of His Coming
P.O. Box 279
Seelyville IN 47878