Big Idea: God is able to do way more than we ask or can think of. Sometimes this is difficult to believe because we don’t see our prayers answered the way we would like. Nevertheless, it is our privilege to praise God both now and forever.
I. Praying to a powerful God
A. “Now to him who is able….” We pray to a God who is able to do this.
B. God is able to do more than we ask or think.
C. God releases this “according to the power at work within us.”
II. A Problem: If this is true, why don’t my prayers get answered?
A. If God is able to do more than I ask or think, then why doesn’t he do it?
B. Some solutions
III. Praising God
A. The church exists in part to glorify God in Christ.
B. “Forever and ever.” Praise is a permanent function of the people of God.
1) What is the longest you have ever prayed for something or someone? What was the result? Why did you persist in that? On average, how long do you pray for items on your list before they drop off?
2) Has anyone prayed for you for a long period of your life? How did that change you? Has prayer ever changed your life in a way you found out about after the fact?
3) If God is able to do all we can ask or imagine, why doesn’t He?
4) Why might God say no to certain things we could think of or imagine? What might a loving God say no to?
5) Why would God limit himself to us and our prayers? Why would an all-powerful God allow us and our imagination and faithfulness in prayer to be a bottleneck?
6) Why does Paul return us to praise after the prayer? Can you praise God even if your heart is hurting? Can you praise God if you haven’t heard your answer from him?
7) Do you pray regularly for someone you know that is far from Jesus? If not, would you start? Start praying for at least one name this week.