July 28: Prayer for God's Power (Eph. 3:14-21)
Ephesians 3:14-21 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (ESV)
How much have you grown this year? Are you content with status quo or is this a problem to you? Is it God’s intention that we cruise through life with a slow beating, dull, and irrelevant faith? Some accept this as natural after a while. Yet while there are times of struggle, on the whole there is no reason why we should not be growing in maturity and joy. Just as a baby is expected to grow from infancy into childhood and on to maturity so are we to grow spiritually. How can we renew our faith? Renewal and spiritual growth begin with prayer. Oversimplification? Certainly not! In the middle of his letter to the Ephesians, we find Paul kneeling and praying before the Father on behalf of all believers for them to grow. His prayer is an inspired prayer for growth for the church to be vibrant. Are your prayers aimed toward spiritual growth in your own life and the lives of others?
Review and Apply
- What is your pattern of prayer and does it mirror Paul’s prayers?
- Where should our comfort and confidence come from as we approach God in prayer?
- What are Paul’s three petitions in this prayer? Which is most needed in your own life?
- What is the purpose of praying that Christ would dwell in our hearts by faith?
- What does Paul mean when he speaks of the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love of Christ? In what ways do you experience this reality?
- What does it mean to be “filled with the fullness of God”?
- Why does Paul break into praise at the end of this prayer (vv. 20-21)? Have you ever experienced this?
- What is your current spiritual condition: growing toward maturity, languishing, or DOA? How does your spiritual condition result in prayerful dependence?
- How frequently are your prayers aimed at seeking the spiritual advancement of others?
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