Verses 20 and 21 conclude Paul’s prayer in this passage, which began in verse 14. No matter how bold our requests may seem, God can do all we ask and much more (1 Corinthians 2:9). A major section of 2 Corinthians concludes with similar words, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
God’s means for accomplishing more than we can imagine comes through His strength. His work is done by the Holy Spirit’s power within us, rather than by our human strength. As Jesus taught His apostles, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38). Paul also refers to “power” throughout this letter (Ephesians 1:19, 21; 2:2; 3:7, 16; 6:12). Ephesians 3:7 described Paul as a minister “by the working of [God’s] power.” Paul’s readers, likewise, could minister by God’s power.