Helpful Study Tips

Ephesians 1:15-23 is a prayer that Paul prayed on behalf of the Ephesians. It can help us in a couple of ways. First, we can gain insight into how to pray for others. Next, the prayer is rich with theological insights into the character of God. It helps us to see who He is, what He is about, and where he is headed with His purposes.

Think...

  1. This has been a week in history where a lot of Christians have been praying for people they do not know. Think about Paul’s reason for his prayer and what impact that has on you as you pray this week. (Hint: see verse 15 – “For this reason…”).

Discuss...

  1. How is this prayer similar or different from the way that you may pray for others?

  2. After reading this prayer, how might it influence, in the future, how you pray for others?

  3. Read verse 1:17. Here Paul basically prays that God would allow us to know Him better. How can knowing God better transform your prayer life?

  4. Read verse 1:18. Jim mentioned that in ancient Greek culture “the heart” was viewed as the place where we make decisions about all of life. It holds what we value and love above all else – the thing we worship. As a result it shapes how we see ourselves, who we are, and how we see the world we live in. Keeping in mind the Greek concept of heart, do you feel your heart has been enlightened in the midst of this tragic week in Orlando? If so, how might this impact your lives going forward?

  5. Read verses 1:18-19. What three things does Paul pray would come out having our hearts enlightened?
    • What are the benefits of knowing the hope of the Gospel? (Past)
    • What are the benefits of knowing our future glorious inheritance – being with God and His people? How can that help us when circumstances in our lives get tough? (Future)
    • What is the benefit of knowing the power of God in our lives? (Present)
    • Share a time that you’ve felt powerless. How does knowing the incredible greatness of His power toward us help us in times when we feel powerless?
    • How do you think the church makes a difference in the world we live in?
    • How can you help Summit maximize its impact in our city for Christ?
  6. Read verses 1:20-23. This is one of those sections that is rich in insight into the mind, character, and plan of God. The power available to us is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him above all, making Him the head of the church. It seems as though the church is a big part of God’s plan.

    • How do you think the church makes a difference in the world we live in?
    • How can you help Summit maximize its impact in our city for Christ?

Next Steps

  • On a sheet of paper – make a list of the things Paul prayed for the Ephesians.
  • Take a moment and pray this way for believers you know and are close to.
  • Take a moment and pray this for yourself. Note if God prompts you in ways that you can know Him better and deeper.