Throughout the scriptures, it's in no doubt that Paul had an understanding of the Lord, his mysteries, his will that is not comparable to anyone before or after. Even Peter, the foundational Apostle confessed that some wisdom has been given to Brother Paul that is' hard to understood'(2 Peter 3:15-16). Paul himself knew he had some strange access to the knowledge of Christ. In Ephesians 3:1-5 he confessed this much in that respect.
"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ). Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
In other places, he talked about how he went up by revelation and communicated to us the gospel! Paul had an unusual understanding of the Lord and of his ways that confound his contemporaries. It is not a surprise then that it was the man who penned the prayers in Ephesians 1:17 was also the one who penned Ephesians 3:1-end.
In Ephesians 1:17 he prayed, “16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him”
And in Ephesians 3, we see the result of that prayer: ‘3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Before Paul could understand the mysteries of God Paul had prayed for the mysteries of God! He had prayed for the 'Spirit of Revelation', for he knew that was the only way to have an increased knowledge of the Lord! We know the mysteries of God by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Ephesians 3:5). But we access that spirit of revelation through prayers. This is why more than anything else Paul's greatest prayer and desire for himself and for the church is that God will give unto us "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power". It was the same in Ephesians 3:14-19. It was also that we may know Him!
Mysteries are Gods secret treasure meant to be found. God hides them not because he doesn't want us to find them but because he wants us to search them!
Let me also quickly points out that the mysteries of God are not hidden from us, they are hidden for us. Mysteries are not meant to be kept from us they are kept for us! For in Matthew 4:11 Jesus said, 'Unto you, it is GIVEN to know THE MYSTERIES of the kingdom". Mysteries are Gods secret treasure meant to be found. God hides them not because he doesn't want us to find them but because he wants us to search them! That's why he said to us “search the scriptures"(John 5:39), he wants us to enjoy the spiritual adventure of searching the word the same way we enjoy it when we hide gifts from our children. We hide it where they cannot easily find it but where they will eventually find it!
Paul said something to this effect in Ephesians 3:1-5, that these mysteries of God in other ages have been hidden from men, but NOW are revealed to his Holy Apostles and prophets and then in verse 9 he said his work as an apostle is to now make all men see these mysteries!
Ephesians 3:9, ‘9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,’
First, it was hidden, then reveal to the Apostles and now all of us can see it! Hallelujah. These mysteries are meant to be hidden for a while but not hidden for life! Now we have access to God's mysteries but only by His Spirit. And we have access to His Spirit when we pray!
Proverbs 1:23 holds the key, "Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you". Our spiritual turn around begins on our knees. On our knees, we turn in prayer and fasting. On our knees, we come in humility and praise of his name and say to him, 'without you Lord we are nothing, so lord show me your ways, increase my knowledge of your will and your word'. It’s in that moment that we encounter a great outpouring of the Spirit of God that becomes our ultimate guide into his will, ways and mysteries.
'...on our knees we will get to know his will'
This was what the Apostles experienced in Acts 4:31, ‘31 and when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness’. They prayed, the Spirit was poured out and the word of God came alive in them and they begin to proclaim with boldness.
Like Kenneth Hagin of blessed memory shared, once he discovered the power of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15-20, every day for the next six months he prayed for an increase in the revelation of the word in his life and we all are witness to what God wrought through that man through the revolutionary insights from the word that God gave him which has largely shape this present move of God. I saw this from His book and then I joined in that spiritual exercise too and I am still in it; every day I pray for the Spirit of revelation to open the word to me, and the results have been showing and continue to show!
How many want to increase the knowledge of the Lord? Let's follow Paul's example, let's bend our knees, for on our knees we will get to know his will. Selah