1. ReadEphesians1:15-16.A.What are the two characteristics in the Ephesian church that Paul is thankful for in his prayers? B. Share an example of one of these characteristics that you have observed in a fellow Christian.
(Intent: A. Faith in Christ and love for His Church.)
2. Take a look at v.17-18a. A. How do we get to know the Lord better? B. To whom does Christ reveal Himself? See John 14:21.
(Intent: A. Some thoughts: Knowledge happens through revelation by the Holy Spirit. It is to have our eyes opened to see the Lord’s character, the immensity of what God has done for us through Jesus, and to understand how to apply it in our lives and the world around us. B. Whoever keeps his commands will experience Him.)
3. In v. 18, Paul prays that the Ephesians would know “the hope to which God has called” them. This is the same hope and call that all Christ-followers have. A. What is this hope? B. What does it mean to be called to this hope? How does that play out in your life?
(Intent: A. The hope is Christ Himself as expressed in the gospel—and all that entails, Col. 1:23. B. A call is a destiny, a life purpose, a direction, or path that a life must follow as a result of the call. Paul prays that God the Father would grant our hearts the ability to know, through the Spirit, the present and future hope to which we are called, i.e., our relationship to God through Christ. That should play out over time in our lives as we grasp hold of it by faith, through prayer, study, and faithful obedience to the Word. Every believer should labor after a deeper understanding and closer relationship with Him.)
4. Verses 19-20 refer to “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,” a power that is comparable to the Father’s power to resurrect Christ. A. How, personally, have you experienced this power? Hint: if you are a believer, you have. B. What part does faith have?
(Intent: A. All of us who have turned from our sin and have believed in Christ for eternal life have been raised to new life through His resurrection power. This is a life free to please the Lord, Rom. 6:4-6. Additionally, we have a purpose—to point others to Christ, who can likewise exhibit His power in them. B. The power is “toward us who believe.” Genuine faith in the power of Christ is an essential component.)
5. Optional Question. Read vv.21-23. A. The Father has put everything under Christ’s feet. Why then is there evil in the world? B. What does it mean that Christ fills everything in every way and that God plans to unite everything in Christ, Ephesians 1:10?
(Intent: A. Some thoughts: Within Christ’s sovereignty, and because of humanity’s shared guilt in the original sin in Adam, He is now allowing people to make choices that are often sinful and result in evil. In the heavenly New Jerusalem, Christ’s will is always done since people then are fully sanctified. B. Everything will “line up” with Christ, acknowledging and honoring Him as the creator and ruler.)
This passage reminds us that being connected with God requires prayer. Paul teaches us a way we can "plug in" and learn more about the Lord through our conversations with Him as well as lifting others up in the process. This week, try Paul's approach to connecting with God by praying
through knowledge and heart.
- Ask God to reveal more about himself through scripture (v. 17, wisdom/revelation)
- Ask the Lord to reach your heart and give you hope in a specific situation (v. 18 hope in Christ)
Tell God the specific life struggles you are placing at His feet, and lift others up in this same way,
using Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians as a model.
Pray along the lines of this prayer of Paul for our church and each other as a group. Eph 1:17- 19 ESV “[May] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory...give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, [that each of us might have] the eyes of [our] hearts enlightened, that [we] may know what is the hope to which he has called [us], what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of
his power toward us who believe.”