WHEN PAUL PRAYED   Ephesus 1: 15-23
  In the course of conversation we may be asked the question:  ‘do you know such and such a person’. Often, without thinking we are apt to say, “yes”, simply because we may know a great deal about that person. Strictly speaking, in this case we have answered incorrectly. We may indeed know a great deal about many people of the world – and we may form our opinion about them, negatively or positively depending on whom they may be. But we can say with confidence we know them if that person referred to is a loved one, or friend, or close associate in our lives because we have developed a relationship with them, and in many cases, over time, we may have mutually and directly influenced each others lives.

    This is often a vital distinction made within Christian circles – the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus personally. In the first instance we may have a great deal of knowledge and information about the historical Jesus and all the claims made about him in scripture and in religion. Wemay even try to live it out on a purely intellectual basis.
    In the second instance we have come to know Jesus in a personal way as we may know a loved one who has great influence upon our lives. This is the purely spiritual level which affects our hearts and consequently our lives.
    Saul of Tarsus, who previously regarded himself as a servant of God, came face to face with Jesus on the road to Damascus. In that encounter his intellectual knowledge of God was transformed by revelation into a deep, personal and intimate relationship with God through theHoly Spirit by Christ Jesus.
    Paul (Ephesians 1:15-18) prays for the new Christians in the city of Ephesus : I have heard of, and give thanks for your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ……and……..I do not cease to pray for you, that God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ will grant you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him; that the eyes of your heart will be enlightened……..and you may know the hope to which he has called you….. (selected verses)
    Paul prays, perhaps with remembrance of his own experience, that:
   1. That our formal knowledge of God will be infused by the Holy Spirit with wisdom and revelation…. to be not merely intellectually affirmed but with an intimate relational experience  (My question: Has that ‘experience’ been a reality for me? For you?)
   2. That the ‘eyes of our heart’ will be enlightened, leading us to a deeper dimension in our spiritual relationship with God. (My question: With Paul,am I, are you, praying for that spiritual insight and enlightenment?)
   3. That we may know –not just know about–the hope to which we are called- that HOPE is found in knowing Jesus Christ personally. (My question: Do I know, do you know that HOPE. That is a personal question that only  you and I individually can answer.)