Prayer is Spiritual Strength
Passage: Ephesians 3:14–3:21
To receive Spiritual strength. To know Christ's love. To be filled with all the fullness of God. These are not only Trinitarian prayer requests, they are bold requests. Furthermore, they are exemplary requests. Our first task in this passage is to be enlightened by the truth upon which Paul bases his prayer. Then we should learn from Paul's example and embrace the ministry of prayer that God has given us. But is this asking too much? Surely the third request is a bit audacious. No, not in the least. Not when the God you are praying to is "the Father" (v. 14) and the one "who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think" (v. 20). This God is both willing and able to answer our prayers.
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Take note of the different ways this passage speaks of our relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. What does this teach us about who God is and how he interacts with us?
3. Pastor John Stott once said, "One of the best ways to discover a Christian's chief anxieties and ambitions is to study the content of his prayers and the intensity with which he prays them." Do you think this is true? If so, what do your prayers reveal about you?
4. Discuss the connection between strength and understanding in this passage? How are the two related? (Perhaps it will help to circle the power/strength word group and the understand/comprehend/know/
5. Paul asks that we comprehend Christ's love "with all the saints." In what ways can we enable each other to know Christ's love?
6. Paul prays that Christ may dwell in the Ephesians' hearts. Calvin noted that this does not mean that Christ merely "dwells on the tongue or flutters in the brain." What is the difference? Whose presence do you allow to guide your life? Of whom are you most aware?
7. Take some time to meditate on the "breadth and length and height and depth" of Christ's love. Praise God for the manifold love of Christ. No adjectives are ultimately adequate, but take a few moments to describe Christ's love with adjectives that fit.
Monday - Acts 25:1-21
Tuesday - Acts 25:22-26:18
Wednesday - Acts 26:19-32
Thursday - Acts 27:1-32
Friday - Acts 27:33-28:10
Saturday - Acts 28:11-31
Sunday - Ephesians 4:1-16