Prayer for True Knowledge

Here is a prayer written by Thomas a Kempis:

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know,
To love what I ought to love,
To praise what delights Thee most,
To value what is precious in Thy sight,
To hate what is offensive to Thee.
Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes,
Nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men;
But to discern with a true judgment between things visible and spiritual,
And above all, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of Thy will. Amen
(The Moral Compass, William J. Bennett p. 754)

and a corresponding prayer for knowledge by the apostle Paul:

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
(Ephesians 1:15-19 )

After Paul gives thanks he prays that God may give to the Ephesians a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ and that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened.  All of those phrases are knowledge phrases.  He asks that they will be enlightened in three ways:  hope, riches, greatness.  Paul is assuming here that their is a tendency in believers to have misconceptions about appropriate hope, true riches, and the nature of greatness.  Listen to my sermon from this week (will post the link when the sermon is up) for a perspective on true hope, riches and greatness.

A major thrust of the believers prayers should be in the arena of the mind and to renew our mind so that it conforms to the mind of Christ.  Prayer can be defined as mind work.  It is the place where I examine my mind, my thinking, my values, my  hopes, my philosophy, my understanding of truth, my wisdom.  Hence Paul prays that we have wisdom and that the veil over our minds be pulled back and that our hearts may be brought into the light, that is out of the darkness.

Paul had a practice of sharing his prayers with his readers.  As a result we have a treasure of examples of how to pray for one another.  I have made it a practice to use the prayers of Paul as a template for how to pray for others.  Here are some good ones:  Ephesians 1:15-23; Ephesians 3:14-20; Colossians 1:9-12; Colossians 4:2-4; Philippians 1:9-11; Philemon 1:4-6.  Pray for one another.

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