The aim of this devotional study is to grow in revelation of the immense love of God that stabilizes one amidst hardships.
13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
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.
Note: Paul starts with the phrase “For this reason” in Chapter 3:1, but interrupts himself, then picks it up in verse 14. So the “For this reason” refers to the glorious redemption and elevation of the gentiles who were “saved by grace through faith… a gift of God” and therefore both the Jewish and non-Jewish believer were made one.
- Study Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians by answering the following questions:
- With what attitude does Paul pray?
- To whom does Paul pray?
- In summary, what are the things Paul pray for this church?
- Paul prays to specifically “know the love of Christ, not the “love of God”. What do you understand “the love of Christ” refers to?
- Paul prayed this prayer to a racially and culturally divided church; what elements of unity can you see in this prayer. (Look carefully! Don’t miss the obvious!)
- How would prayer “to the Father from whom every family is known” help them in their unity?
- How would a revelation of the love of Christ help them in their unity?
- How would “being filled with the fullness of God” help them in their unity?
- This prayer of Paul was prayed during times of mounting persecution (himself imprisoned for the message he writes about!). What parts in this prayer is aimed to help this troubled church during times of persecution?
- How would “being rooted and grounded in love” and a greater revelation of Christ’s love help them in their times of persecution?
- How would “being strengthened… in the inner man” help them in their times of persecution?
- How would “being filled with the fullness of God” help them in their times of persecution?
Application and Prayer
Paul’s prayer for this troubled church (internally divided, with external persecution) is for strength, for faith, and for a revelation of the love of Christ, to grow in their union with Christ and be filled with his godliness.
- With whom and in which ways do you presently experience relational conflict in this season?
- In which ways do you experience external pressures these days?
- Personalize Paul’s prayer in verses 14-19, considering the relational and external challenges in your life.
- Note how Paul ends the prayer in praise with such encouragement in verses 20-21. Spend some time in praise to God who “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us!”