15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray 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 his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Can't you just see the humility of Paul here? How humbled he is in what God has done in Ephesus? He is not patting anyone, including himself, on the back for the faith and love of these people. He knows that there is only one who gets the praise, and that is God. Knowing that all things come from God he first gives thanks. Thanks to the one who is responsible for all good gifts. And beyond that, he prays for them, praying to God that the faith that he has heard about will continue to grow. Praying that the Spirit will be unleashed in their lives. Why? That they might know Him better. Because as they come to know Him better, their faith will increase, their love for one another will grow even greater.
Doesn't this stand in stark contrast to most of Christianity today? We see the church is growing, and we smile and pat one another on the back. We send an offering to Haiti or Japan, and of course we print the amount of the check in hte bulletin and newsletter, because we want to know just how awesome we are. Go God, You sure know how to use us awesome Christians. We often offer up a prayer too. But is it constant? Does it echo the humility of Paul and of Christ?
What we need to understand is, it is knowing Him that brings us to our knees. It is seeing His grace and glory that creates life change in us. We don't respond to get closer by works that seek to impress God or others. Those who do have already "received their reward in full." (Matt 6:2)