Little Greek Gems: Confidence in Prayer – Ephesians 1:18

The work of the Spirit is not a “one and done”, it has lasting, ongoing impact.

If a person professes faith in Christ and there is evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, you can pray for them with confidence, because you know that the Holy Spirit has already been at work, bringing them to faith, giving them a heart of flesh in place of stone, giving them the ability to change, to choose increasing Godliness. (Ezekiel 36:26)


I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, NIV

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,  ESV

Is Paul praying for the Ephesian believers that the “eyes of their hearts” would be opened for the purpose that might be able to understand OR is he praying confidently for something, knowing that the eyes of their hearts have already been enlightened?  Let us consider…

Greek Grammar:

In Ephesians 1:18, the Greek verb photizo (to enlighten or to give light) is a perfect, passive, participle.  This tells us a number of things:

  1.  the verb being “perfect” in tense means that the action took place in the past and that the impact or effect of the action is continuing.
  2. The verb being a participle, becomes a verbal adjective.  It might have an object and it might qualify a noun.
  3. The verb is passive.  The subject of the verb was not acting, it was acted upon.

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