One might assume that this prayer is redundant, seeing that the Ephesians already “knew” Christ. Yet chief among Paul’s concerns for this church was that they might have a fuller, deeper, closer acquaintance and fellowship with “Him.” Why do believers need to know more of Christ? Why should we pray for “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him”?
The Christian must pray for more knowledge of Christ because the knowledge of Christ continually transforms us to His image and keeps us humble.
First, the deeper knowledge of Christ transforms us. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image.” When a deformed face looks at beauty, it is not transformed into beauty. When a sick man looks upon a healthy man, he might wish, but he cannot be. When a poor man looks upon a rich man, he might envy, but that is all. Herein is the excellence of divine knowledge.
As we behold Christ more and more, we are made partakers of His nature. Paul might have prayed that the Ephesians would increase in love, trust, obedience, or holiness, but rather he prays for more knowledge of Christ. The defectiveness of our faith, love, and obedience must be traced to the inadequacy of our knowledge of God in Christ. If we were more intimately and influentially acquainted with Him, we would love Him more fervently, trust Him more implicitly, and obey Him more freely.
“How do we bring glory to God? The Bible’s short answer is: by growing more and more like Jesus Christ.”—Sinclair B. Ferguson