[S]ince the day we heard of [your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints], we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
Here’s what Greg has said about it:
Notice that when you pray this way the focus is entirely on God and His purposes. You ask for knowledge, wisdom, and understanding so you can honor and please God, bearing fruit in your daily walk. You ask for power so you can attain steadfastness and patience. You ask for joy in the context of thanksgiving.
It’s important to note that in the previous six verses, Paul grounds this prayer to bear fruit squarely in “the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the Gospel.” In other words, it’s only because Jesus has already secured our salvation for us that we can bear fruit with joy and thanks, not fear. The Gospel, and the faith in Christ that’s central to it, always comes before our work, which is why it’s a great idea to pair this prayer with Ephesians 3:14–19:
I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
These are good prayers to memorize! Do you have any favorite biblical prayers? I would love to hear them in the comments below.