Big Idea: Contagious faith is a powerful force that transforms the people of God and calls fellow believers to prayerful thanksgiving. We need to pursue God’s purposes for us in a deep, rich and multifaceted spirituality that includees faith in Christ, love for His people, revelation, knowledge of God, and illumination of our hearts.
I. Contagious Faith – the occasion for Paul’s prayer
A. What is this faith?
1. Faith in Jesus Christ
2. Agape love for His people
B. Paul has heard about this faith.
1. Faith in Christ and agape love for his people.
2. Live out your faith in such a way that word just naturally spreads.
II. Purpose-filled prayer – what God wants for us
A. Paul is praying constantly and with gratitude for the faith of this church.
B. Paul’s purpose-filled prayer
1. Spirit of Wisdom
3. Full knowledge of Him
4. Illumination of the heart
1. Don’t get stuck in the shallow end of the pool; go deeper.
2. Embrace a deep multi-faceted spirituality.
3. Reject an anti-intellectual version of Christianity.
4. Open up your eyes about what is going on in your heart.
1) How famous is your faith? What makes faith famous? Does loudly proclaiming something make you famous or infamous? What ways have you found effective at putting your faith on display in a winsome manner?
2) What is the temperature of your unconditional love for God’s people? Which direction is your unconditional love trending toward (warmer or colder)?
3) What is your greatest joy in your prayer life? What cool stories do you have about your prayer life?
4) How do you connect with God most – in wisdom, knowledge, the heart, or deeper insight into revelation? Is one way of connecting with God more important than another? Why did Paul pray for all of these?
5) What is your EQ (Emotional intelligence)? Have you been exposed to this idea before? How aware are you of what is happening in your own heart? Do others know your feelings better than you do? How aware are you of tension and conflict in others?