This week as we begin our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, we continue our series on the 4 year-changing prayers of the Apostle Paul. The second prayer we’re examining is in Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus.

Read Ephesians 1.15–23.

Here Paul is writing to the people of a church known for their love and faith in Christ Jesus, yet Paul continues to pray for them to have the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Paul asks God to show them more and take them even deeper. As a result, Paul reveals some important truths about the nature of God.

1. Our God is a God of increase.

Read Genesis 1.22,28; Psalm 31.19; Matthew 25.29; John 15.2; 2 Corinthians 9.10; and Revelation 22.1–5.

Throughout the Bible, we see that God is a generous God. He’s a God of abundance and multiplication. We need to be careful to guard against believing that our best days with God are behind us, or thinking that we’ve been walking with Him so long that there’s nothing left to learn. Even the church in Ephesus that was full of faith and love drifted into this kind of complacency.

Read Revelation 2.1–4.

2. To stay spiritually healthy, God wants us to move into His increase.

Read Philippians 3.12–14.

As much as had occurred in Paul’s past—the good and the bad—he said that he forgot what was behind and strained forward to what was ahead. He pressed on to know God and His will more and more. He moved into God’s increase and, as we saw in Ephesians 1, this was his prayer for them as well. Paul knew if they weren’t moving forward, they were moving backward.

3. God gives increase in two specific ways that we should seek in prayer.

1. Pray for increased hope.

Read Ephesians 1.18–19.

Christian hope is the knowledge that God will work out all things for our good, the confidence that we will one day be received into heaven because of Jesus’ incredible gift on the cross, and that one day we will be rewarded by God for the life that we live here and now.

2. Pray for increased power.

Read Ephesians 6.10–18.

Paul knew that anyone living with an other-worldly focus would face opposition. So rather than feeling powerless or giving up, we need to lean into God’s perfect power.

Discussion Questions

  1. How have you found yourself in a spiritual rut over the past year?
  2. Where have you observed God’s generosity and abundance in your life? How about in the past year? How about this month? This week?
  3. What are you praying for God to do in your life? Is this part of your 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting?
  4. How could having a hope for eternity improve your life here and now? Spend some time praying for that hope.
  5. What kind of opposition are you facing? Pray for God’s power to prevail.