God, the Creator of heaven and earth, has all power and unlimited resources. He longs to pour His power and love into your life through His Spirit. As you continue to trust Him, your relationship with Him grows. In Ephesians 3, Paul is moved to pray that the power and love of God would be known fully by believers. God is able! Have you restricted this power in your life?
14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now 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, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
- What is your most fervent prayer?
- Read Ephesians 3:14-21. Paul begins with “for this reason…”. What is the reason he is praying this prayer?
- List what Paul prays for in this passage. What stands out to you?
- The word “kneel” means to lay prostrate. In Paul’s time, Jews stood when they offered prayers. Only in extraordinary times or in unusual passion would they kneel/prostrate themselves. Why do you think Paul was so concerned about the Ephesians that he “knelt” in prayer for them? (See Revelation 2:1-7.)
- Joe shared that the word “dwell” has the connotation of inviting Jesus to make Himself at home in your life. Does the thought of Christ living in your life in such a complete manner make you excited, or does it make you uncomfortable? Why?
- What does it mean to be strengthened “with power through His Spirit in your inner being”?
- Do you think it is truly possible to understand the full extent of God’s love? Why or why not?
- How would you describe God’s love? What experiences have you had that inform your understanding of God’s love?
- How do you expect to change as you become more confident of Christ’s love and more filled with His power?
Do you feel like the power of God is pouring out of you? Or is it a slow trickle? Read through the three ways Joe shared that can restrict your access to the power of God and determine if there are any bottlenecks in your life:
* Your attitude toward God: Are you making decisions based on what you want rather than what would bring a smile to God’s face? Is God being squeezed out of your busy schedule? Are your priorities pushed to the limit and God is getting your leftovers? If so, surrender to Him. Physically prostrate yourself before Him, acknowledging that He is God.
* The inner man: When life gets tough do you give up? Question God? Are there areas of your life that you need to daily surrender to Jesus? Ask Jesus to make Himself at home in your life. Pray that He would give you the inner strength that pushes you towards seeing, thinking, and doing the right thing in every situation.
* Locked doors: Have you kept Jesus in certain areas of your life and out of others? Surrender the mess to Him…all the thoughts, actions, addictions, and pride. Let Him come into those areas of your life and painstakingly clean them up. Give Him access to the ugly parts of your life…and He will give you freedom like you’ve never experienced!
FOR FURTHER STUDY
How does the prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21 compare to the prayer in Ephesians 1:17–21?
What do the following verses say about God’s power in relation to believers?
- Acts 1:7-8
- 2 Timothy 1:7
- 2 Corinthians 12:9
- Colossians 1:28-29
- 1 Corinthians 2:2-5
- Ephesians 1:18-21
- 2 Peter 1:2-4