Introduction: For many years I drove cars that I found for
sale during one of my exercise walks. These vehicles were
great values, but not very attractive, and not very
powerful. Today is different. In the old days when I faced
an emergency situation on the road, I had two options: turn
or brake. Today I have another option, use all that power
and accelerate out of the situation. You, my reader, have
the “power out of problems” option when you invite the Holy
Spirit into your life. Let’s study about this as we turn our
attention back to Ephesians!

I. Power and Prayer

A. Read Ephesians 1:13-15. What does having the Holy
Spirit in our life bring about? (Ephesians
mentions not only the guarantee of our inheritance
(meaning heaven and the earth made new), but that
we will have a notable faith in Jesus and love
towards other Christians.)

B. Read Ephesians 1:16-17. Paul tells the Ephesians
that he has heard of their faith and love, and he
is praying for them. What is the first thing he
mentions about them in his prayer? (He is grateful
for what God is doing in their lives.)

1. What other blessings does Paul request for the
Ephesians? (That the Holy Spirit will give
them wisdom and knowledge.)

2. Are you aware of Christians who know a lot
about God but do not seem very wise? (As we
learn more about God, we need to seek wisdom
to go with this learning.)

a. This is Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians.
Do you make this same prayer for
yourself? Your family?

C. Read Ephesians 1:18. My heart does not have eyes
in it. My head holds my eyes. What can Paul be
talking about? (The Alexander MacLaren commentary
warns the “English reader” that this verse does
not refer to our “affections.” We are not asked to
see with our emotions. Rather, “the heart” refers
to “the whole inward life.” What does your core,
informed by the Holy Spirit, tell you about this

1. Notice that this verse prays that we will know
what is the hope to which God has called us.
How can you know a hope? How can your core
know a hope? (We have to experience it by
making this hope our own. We have to have this

2. Notice also that this hope involves the
“riches of his glorious inheritance in the
saints.” What are these riches which you and I
now possess to promote our hope? (Have you
heard the old saying that “money is power?”
This tells us that we have riches in what God
has given us. God has given us our salvation
in Jesus. We also have the power available to
us from the Holy Spirit.)

D. Read Ephesians 1:19. If you believe, how much
power is available to you? (That power is so great
that it cannot be measured.)

1. Do you recall from the Introduction that my
current car gives me another option – power.
You have this option in life. Do you use it?

E. Read Ephesians 1:20. When people discuss powerful
cars they compare the amount of horsepower the
engine produces. What is the point of comparison
for the power given to you through the Holy
Spirit? (The power that raised Jesus to life. The
power that seated Him at God’s right hand.)

1. What good is power if you do not use it?

2. Have you thought about how you can use this
power that is available to you?

F. Read Ephesians 1:21-23. Have we made a transition
from the power available to us to the power of
Jesus? (We have transitioned to a discussion of
Jesus being above all other powers in the
universe. But notice that “the church” is “the
body” and “the fullness” of Jesus. That means this
power is available to the body of believers.)

1. So how does this work? In a car you just press
your foot on the accelerator and the power is
there. How do we assert this power? (An
obvious guideline is that all power is subject
to Jesus. The power seems to be exercised
through the church. We need to seek to know
God’s will for His power and exercise this
power with fellow believers.)

a. Some of you may challenge the idea that
we need to work with fellow believers.
Perhaps they lack a sufficient level of
faith. What is the answer to that?
(Fellow believers are a check on our
plans. How many times have I heard
someone say that the Holy Spirit told
them to do something when I’m rather
certain the Holy Spirit said no such

II. Prayer and the Assertion of Power

A. Read Ephesians 3:14-16. What is the first thing we
are told to do to access the power of Jesus? (We
get down on our knees and pray for power through
the Holy Spirit.)

1. What is meant by strengthening our “inner
being?” (The first order of business is making
you more spiritual.)

B. In Mark 9 we find a story about a boy who is demon
possessed. Read Mark 9:18-19. Jesus then heals
the boy. Read Mark 9:28-29. What does this story
have to do with our discussion about our inner
being and spiritual power? (The disciples were not
up to the task of performing a miracle. They
lacked faith and they did not have an
understanding of using the power of prayer.)

1. When I think about all of the power that is
available to us, I think about grand ideas –
performing miracles, converting thousands,
building a church, amazing the pagan world by
creating something from nothing. Do you agree
that I have the cart before the horse? (The
first order of business is strengthening
ourselves spiritually.)

2. How does the previous conclusion work with the
idea of righteousness by faith? (So often
Christians look at righteousness by faith as
authorizing the least amount of effort on our
part. After all, we cannot save ourselves or
live a perfect life. This misses the fullness
of the Christian life. This misses the power
that is available to us.)

C. Read Ephesians 3:17-18. Is this a group project?
(Once again we see a reference to us working with
fellow believers to understand this power.)

D. Read Ephesians 3:19. What is the “inner being”
(see verse 16) goal here? (To be “filled with all
the fullness of God.”)

1. We are constantly told by the world to love
and not hate. Does the world know what it is
talking about? (Apparently not because this
text says that the love of Christ is beyond
knowledge. This is a love that arises from the
power of God strengthening our inner being.)

E. Read Ephesians 3:20-21. I suggested earlier that
we should contemplate how we can use this
incredible power of God. What does this teach us
about our grand plans for using God’s power? (God
has much greater things in mind.)

1. Has this happened to you? Have you asked God
for one thing and He gave you something much
greater? (About twenty years ago I decided
that I wanted to change the focus of my life
from litigation to teaching. My plan was to
pursue college teaching in one of our church
schools. God worked it out so that I’m
teaching in law school in my areas of
litigation expertise. I get to educate the
next generation of lawyers to defend religious

F. Look again at Ephesians 3:21. In all of the grand
plans for your great spiritual power, who should
be glorified? (God and the church.)

1. We think about giving glory to God. How often
do you think about giving glory to the church?

G. Friend, will you pray that God will give you
power? Power that is beyond what you can imagine.
Power that will make you a spiritual giant. Why
not, right now, make that your goal?

III. Next week: How God Rescues Us.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail,
but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.