For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 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 1:15-18
This particular passage is important in a practical way, since Paul was well acquainted with Ephesus (Acts 18:19; 19:1-41; 20:17-38). The language of “having heard” makes little sense within this context. Given that the earliest documents do not contain the destination “Ephesus” (Eph 1:1) it seems fitting to assume this was not the primary destination of this epistle.
Even with that as the background, Paul’s encouragement here is not lessened. The persistence of Paul to pray for the bride of Christ, even those he had not met, is a testimony to the way the church should behave today. It is not wrong to prayer for an increase in knowledge for fellow brothers when one’s heart is bent toward the shared goals of the apostle Paul.
Far from praying for clarification of a doctrinal point, this “knowledge of Him” is a deeper understanding of the fullness of His grace and our eternal hope. This is a prayer to understand what we do not yet have! Our glorious inheritance is to come and Paul’s prayer is that we understand this more clearly in the present reality of that hope.