The First 15

Friday June 24, 2022

by Jan Davis

Today is Friday, June 24 and we continue to pray through chapter two of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Opening Prayer

I come to this time of prayer bringing an open heart and open mind, quietly waiting for God to reveal truth to me and whisper wisdom over my soul.

Pause and Pray

Holy Lord God, I am here to experience your loving presence and discover the specific message you have for me. Communicate through the sacred words of holy scripture and help me carry your revelation throughout my day. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I praise God and rejoice in his steadfast love with the ancient words of Psalm 90.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:1-2

Pause and Pray

In these two final verses of the second chapter of Ephesians, Paul reveals a new understanding of the concept of temple. We are members of God’s household and have a new church family. Often people think they decided to become a member of a particular church and made a decision to “join.” In reality it is God who calls us to the church and he is the one building us together into a place for him to dwell. The church is not a place for parishioners to come visit, but a household where God chooses to live. Believers are built into a growing temple, collectively knit into a sacred dwelling place for a divine God. It is a structure joined together in Christ and continually growing in holiness.

In him (Christ) the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22


The bustling, international city of Ephesus had pagan temples everywhere, including the largest one ever constructed. The Temple of Artemis (considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world) was tremendous – double the size of the Parthenon in Greece. An enormous idol of Artemis, a pagan fertility goddess, was worshiped there. These new Christian converts were living in the shadows of that impressive temple, yet they knew it was wrong for them to enter or participate in pagan worship. What replacement for them existed? Surprisingly, Paul tells them they themselves are temples of the living God – individually and corporately as a body of believers. This must have been mind-blowing – they were walking and talking mobile temples for the Holy Spirit.

Ask: What does it mean for me to be joined together with other Christians as a temple in the Lord? What difference does it make in my life to be a holy dwelling place for God’s Spirit to live?

Pause and Pray

Father God, I am grateful to be a part of a Christian community joined together in Jesus Christ, rising as a dwelling place for your presence, built together as a moving, breathing, earthly tabernacle for you to reside by the Holy Spirit. Make me worthy to be a part of such a community. I read the words from Ephesians again and listen for the message you have for me.

In him (Christ) the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22

Ask: What image, word or phrase stands out to me when I slowly read this passage? What is God trying to say to me through these words of scripture?

Pause and Pray

God desires to dwell with his people, to be fully present in a community of believers – in the church, in my church, and in me. I consider what it means for me and my current faith family to live together as God intended. Perhaps God wants me to understand and appreciate my role in my congregation. Maybe God wants me to lean into relationships, participate in fellowship, or serve in a greater capacity. I reflect on the people I know in my church, and consider what it would mean for us to be joined together, rise in holiness, and built up to become a holy dwelling place for the Lord. Where does my church meet those requirements and where is it lacking?

Pause and Pray

Holy Lord Jesus, I want to be a dwelling place for God. I ask you to come into the tabernacle of my soul and reveal what needs to change in me so that God may more fully dwell. Help me understand my role in the Christian community and inspire me to work with others to grow in discipleship and mature in corporate faith. Come Lord, dwell in me and in my church! Amen.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 1 Corinthians 3:16

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” Revelation 21:3

Closing Prayer

I leave this time of prayer reminded that I am a temple for God’s Holy Spirit to dwell, I go to bring the love and grace of God to a lost and broken world.


The First 15

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