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Sermon Notes and Small Group Questions – Aug 23

Praying with Paul

Wk 3 “Praying for More…”

Ephesians 3:14-21

 

Ephesians 3:14-21
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may 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, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now 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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

  1. Translation Challenges-

 

The First Petition-

Power to strength our spirit

 

The Second Petition-

Power to understand the love of Jesus

 

Ephesians 3:14-15
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

 

  1. Power to Strengthen our Spirit or (the inner man/person)

 

Ephesians 3:16-17a
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

 

Ephesians 1:18-19
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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength

 

2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

 

The Second Petition-

The power to understand the love of Jesus.

 

Ephesians 3:17b-19
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may 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, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 

Ephesians 3:19b
“…that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

 

Your challenge this week is this. Pray for God’s power to strengthen people, pray for His people to help understand His love, and pray that those you pray for will be all that God wants them to be.

 

Notes:

 

 

Small Group Questions:

  1. Read Ephesians 3: 14-17, what are His glorious riches? What are some ways God strengthens our spirit? What are some ways we can neglect our inner spirit? Do/should we pray to the Holy Spirit?
  2. Read 2 Corinthians 4:16, how are we renewed day by day? Once we are in heaven will this renewal be necessary?  Why or why not? What is the Holy Spirit tasked with while we are still on earth?
  3. Read Ephesians 3: 17-21, How do we become rooted/established in love? Can we be uprooted? What are some things that might lead us to be pulled away from being grounded in love? Paul says that God’s love surpasses knowledge but he prays that we can grasp how wide, long, high, deep, his love is for us. What does Paul mean?
  4. What are the criteria that we would consider as being spiritually mature? Can people who consider themselves to be “spiritual” but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus be spiritually mature?
  5. Have you prayed for God’s power in your life? Why or why not? Have you prayed for power in other’s lives?
  6. Paul wrote this letter while being imprisoned probably a few years from when he would be put to death. Do you find it easier or harder to pray for others when your own situation may seem dire?  What was it that kept Paul motivated to continue to pray and reach out to the various churches?
  7. Pray for God’s power to strengthen people, pray for His people to help understand His love, and pray that those you pray for will be all that God wants them to be.