What if you inherited a few million dollars today? Would it change the way that you do things? That new mindset was the apostle Paul’s prayer over the Christians at Ephesus— that God is filled with glorious riches and that those riches were available to those who believed in Jesus Christ. Lean into this and think/talk through how you may change the ways you do things with this powerful and abundant inheritance.
- Read Ephesians 3:14-21 aloud as a group. Verse 14 says “For this reason…” Paul is looking back to what he has already shared. Why do you think it is important that Paul keeps bringing everyone back to the fact that unity under Jesus Christ is for all?
- Read Ephesians 3:16-17. Paul prays that out of God’s glorious riches He would strengthen His followers with inward power, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith. The word “dwell” in the Greek gives the idea of settling in and being comfortable. There is a small little booklet, “My Heart, Christ’s Home” by Robert Munger, which describes our hearts as a house with many rooms. The kitchen (appetites/ desires), the library (what we read), the living room (relationships), the upstairs closet (where we try and hide or lock things away we wish to forget), our work, etc. The idea of this passage is that God comes into our hearts and is at home. He wants to settle into our entire heart and not be held out from any room. In this, we can experience His power in all areas of our life.
a. Discuss an area in your life/heart where you may be resisting God and not allowing Him to fully dwell and transform you through His power.
b. What is an area you have allowed God into? Share with your group what has changed through your doing that.
- Read Ephesians 3:17-19. Paul prays for us to have power to know and experience the immeasurable love of God. As we do, he says we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
a. What do you think it means to need God’s power to grasp His love?
b. Discuss, as a group, the difference between knowing about God’s love and personally experiencing it. Allow each group member to speak freely on where they are currently as it relates to God’s love.
c. How would you describe God’s love to someone who is not a Christian?
d. What are some practical ways your group can reflect God's love to the neighborhood around you in the coming weeks?
Read Ephesians 3:20-21. Paul ends this prayer and section (Chapters 1-3) with a doxology (praise to God). Paul says that God is able to do “exceeding abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think, according to His power which works mightily through us”!
a. Notice through whom God does great things. His power works through us. Discuss as a group how this makes you feel. Do you feel challenged, excited, scared, or maybe even in disbelief?
b. Discuss what you would do for God if you knew you could not fail.
c. What is the biggest thing that keeps you from stepping out in faith and trusting God to do great things?
This is a wonderful prayer to learn from and to teach us to pray for others (as well as our own walk with God). Take some time each day to pray this prayer for yourself and for a specific group of people that God has given you to love. Pray big for others and yourself, knowing God can do “exceeding abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think, according to His power which works mightily through us”!