All Saints Day
“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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe… For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” (1:18–19 and 3:14–20)
If you are not familiar with it, All Saints Day is a Christian holy day when the Church around the world remembers the union between Christians in heaven (the Church triumphant) and Christians on earth (the Church militant). With the holy day approaching, I started thinking about what it means to be a saint, so I did a short search in my Bible program and discovered that the word “saint” occurs 69 times.
Chapter 11 of Hebrews recounts the exploits of many “triumphant saints” living in Old Testament times. The letters of the Apostles are written to the “militant saints” living in the times of the New Testament, and living in today’s Church. Therefore, saints are people who have passed on to be with the Lord and people who live among us.
Of the many passages that speak about saints, two of my favorite are found in the above verses from Ephesians. The benefit of being a saint was so significant to the Apostle Paul that he prayed that our hearts would be opened to God’s magnificent call, a call that includes unquenchable hope, a rich inheritance, and incomparable power for daily living. But Paul doesn’t stop there. He continues by asking God to strengthen the hearts and minds of all saints that they may know God’s immeasurable love and goodness in Christ Jesus (3:16–20).
What a tremendous prayer!
He crowns his extraordinary prayer with worship: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” God demonstrates his great salvation through His saints!
If you have ever questioned how to pray for yourself or others, Paul provides a model prayer to all saints.