Give me a clean heart, Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.
Paul expresses his gratitude for the faith and love of the Christians at Ephesus, and shares his hopes for them. He wants them to know God even better. This can happen only through revelation and understanding. It is God the Trinity who gives us wisdom through the Spirit, and opens our eyes in our head, but the eyes of your heart.
Here Paul taps into a powerful biblical metaphor which runs through Scripture. The ‘heart’ is where we gain understanding and where we make our response to God. That is why the psalmist asks God to search his heart. We are asked to guard our heart to apply our heart to understanding to keep God’s precepts in our heart, and to love God with all our heart. In the Bible, wisdom and understanding do not begin in the mind but in the heart. It is in his heart that the fool says, ‘There is no God’ so unless our hearts are fully open to God, we will not be able to experience the riches of faith.
Paul longs for Christ’s followers to know these riches and have greater power. For the power at work in and through believers is the same almighty power that raised Jesus from the dead. Yet, as we read Paul’s glorious vision of Christ’s supremacy and authority over everything, we are challenged to ask how real Christ’s power is for us today. We can see its reality in parts of the world where people turn to God and miracles happen. It seems less real in spiritual drought, but Christ’s power is at work there too, refreshing us, and encouraging us to carry on believing.
Ask God to give you power and encouragement to face the trails of this day.