I have had the privilege of being mentored by mature followers of Jesus, and I’ve had the great pleasure of mentoring younger believers. When I’m praying for those God has entrusted to me, I have found myself returning over and over again to Paul’s great prayer in Ephesians 3. Earlier in Ephesians, Paul explained that God had revealed a great mystery – that Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Jesus. Paul responded to this revelation with a powerful prayer for those joining God’s family.
- Who has prayed for your spiritual growth? Who has been entrusted to your spiritual care?
READ THE WORD: EPHESIANS 3:14-21 (ESV)
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 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, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What does Paul’s position before God tell you about him (vs. 14)? About God?
- There are many things that Paul prayed for these believers. Make a list of them.
- What is the purpose/result of all this strengthening, rooting, and grounding? What did Paul want those he prayed for to comprehend?
- If you were going to put verses 18-19 on a billboard, how would you summarize them in a few billboard-friendly words?
- How might your life be different if you were able to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love for you? How might the life of someone you know be different if you prayed this prayer for him or her?
RESPOND TO GOD
God is able to do far…more…abundantly than all that we ask or all that we think. And he loves us so much in Christ that Paul—and we—often have difficulty expressing it, much less understanding it. The encouragement is that God is the one who accomplishes great things in our lives and in the lives of those he has entrusted to our care. He is the one who draws us to Jesus. He is the one who pours out his love on us. Our job is to stand in the flow of what he is already doing and lift others up to him in prayer.
- Pray these verses for the person (or people) that God has entrusted to your care, personalizing it with his or her name.