The First 15

Monday August 1, 2022

by Sharon Reid

Today is Monday, August 1, and we are exploring, through prayer, chapter five of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Opening Prayer

I begin this time of prayer in stillness as I invite the Holy Spirit to be my guide.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, lead me into a place of deep connection with you in these moments. With each breath in, remind me of your inexhaustible capacity to refresh my soul. With each breath out, remind me that through the cross of Jesus Christ, our brokenness is healed. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I pause now to give God thanks, praise and worship, using the ancient words of all God’s people in Psalm 149.

Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. – Psalm 149:1-4

Pause and Pray

This week we continue our journey together in reading and exploring chapter five of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Paul shares teaching to help his readers make the most of every opportunity to give a true witness of the good news of Jesus Christ. 

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:15-20

Reflection

Paul wants to make sure I understand that I need to place my focus on understanding and living out the Lord’s will. This focus produces wisdom and guides me to make the most of every opportunity to reveal Christ through the way I live. I cannot discover the Lord’s will through overindulging in wine or alcohol. The practice of overindulging makes me more vulnerable to other more extreme overindulgences (debauchery).

So today, I seek to indulge in the Spirit. I want the Holy Spirit to rule my heart so that I become a living testimony of the good news of Jesus Christ for my family, friends and neighbors. The Spirit knows no barriers in seeing God’s goodness and responding with thanks, praise and worship. When I open my soul (body, mind and spirit) to be filled with the Holy Spirit, I then join with others (the Church) to reveal an undistorted reflection of Christ in the world.

Ask: Paul speaks most specifically about the overindulgence of wine. Is there something that has become an overindulgence problem for me? Who could I talk with about this? How could I learn to be more open to being filled with the Spirit? Who could I reach out to and speak with to learn more about the Holy Spirit?

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, help me notice a particular word, phrase or thought you want me to carry with me throughout this day as I slowly read the passage once more.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:15-20

Ask: What word, phrase or thought has the Spirit guided me to spend a bit more time thinking about today? What is the Spirit teaching me through this?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me pause and examine how I am living. I need your help to be filled with your Spirit and understand your will. I invite you, right now, to transform my heart so that my greatest desire is your will and your Spirit. In this day, may my words, thoughts and actions be used by you as undistorted reflections of Jesus Christ in the world. Amen.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – Colossians 3:16

Closing Prayer

Lord, as I leave this time of prayer, make me ready to be faithful to you in every way. Jesus, make me ready to serve others with your compassion and grace. Holy Spirit, transform my inner thoughts and motivations so that all I do, I do to please you. Amen.

The First 15

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