That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.
— Ephesians 1:17
Would you like to receive guidance from the Holy Spirit to help you make some important decisions today? If so, Paul’s prayer to the Ephesian church in Ephesians 1:17 is an important scripture for you to apply to your own life.
The word “wisdom” in this verse is from the Greek word sophias. It is an old Greek word that was used to describe insight or wisdom not naturally attained. In other words, this is not natural human wisdom — this is special insight.
The word “revelation” is from the word apokalupsis. It refers to something that has been veiled or hidden for a long time and then suddenly, almost instantaneously, becomes clear and visible to the mind or eye. It is like pulling the curtains out of the way so you can see what has always been just outside your window. The scene was always there for you to enjoy, but the curtains blocked your ability to see the real picture. But when the curtains are drawn apart, you can suddenly see what has been hidden from your view. The moment you see beyond the curtain for the first time and observe what has been there all along but not evident to you — that is what the Bible calls a “revelation.”
Now apply the meaning of this word to the realm of spiritual truths. The truths we now grasp and enjoy were always there in the realm of the Spirit, but they were veiled — hidden to us. It wasn’t the time for these truths to be revealed yet, so they remained obscured from our sight, even though they were always there. But once the right time came and the Holy Spirit removed the veil that obstructed our view, our minds instantly saw and understood. When this occurred, you and I had a revelation!
Can you remember times in your past when you suddenly saw something in the Bible you had never seen before? That truth had been there all along, but it had been hidden to your eyes. Then suddenly one day, it was as if someone pulled the covers off that verse, and it literally jumped off the pages in front of you. You saw it! You understood it! You had a revelation!
It is a fact that truths remain hidden until God chooses to reveal them to us. This is why Paul prayed for God “to give” the Ephesian church a spirit of wisdom and revelation. The phrase “to give” is the Greek word didomi, which means to hand something over completely to someone else. It could also be translated to impart.
Because the Ephesian church needed wisdom beyond their own human understanding, Paul asked God to give them what they needed: special insight that is not naturally attained. Then Paul clarified what he meant by adding the word “revelation.” One expositor has said the verse could be better translated to “give unto you a spirit of wisdom, even revelation!”
Taking all this into consideration, Ephesians 1:17 could be translated:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you special insight — I’m talking about wisdom that is not naturally attained. This is the divine moment when the curtains are drawn back, and you are supernaturally enabled to see what you could never see by yourself.”
God had all the answers the Ephesian believers needed. By themselves, they would never have been smart enough to figure it all out. So Paul besought God to impart to them the wisdom they needed. Then Paul clarified that this kind of wisdom would only come to them by revelation — which only God can give.
If you need direction and guidance today, stop right now and pray Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17 for your own life. Ask God to give you “a spirit of wisdom and revelation.” God has all the answers you need, and they’re not as far from you as you may think. In one moment, He can remove the veil of ignorance and help you see clearly the things you need to understand. All you have to do is ASK!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I ask You to give me the insight and wisdom I need for this moment in my life. There is so much I need to know, but I am unable to figure it all out by myself. Today I ask that the Holy Spirit would take away the veil that has obscured my view. I ask that my eyes be opened to see exactly what I need to know. I ask You to give me a real revelation about my life, my situation, and the truth I need to know right now.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I boldly declare that God gives me “a spirit of wisdom and revelation” regarding the truth I need in my life right now. God has all the answers I need — answers I will not find with my own natural reasoning. At the right moment, the Holy Spirit will remove the veil of ignorance that has blinded my view and help me see clearly the things I need to understand.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Can you remember a time in your life when a light bulb went off in your spirit and you saw a new revelation from God that you’d never seen before?
2. What difficult issues in your life have you been trying to work out in your own strength? Write them down.
3. Are you ready to surrender those issues to God and ask Him to reveal to you the answers you need?