The First 15

Monday July 4, 2022

by Jan Davis

Today is Independence Day and we continue our summer journey through chapter three of Ephesians.

Opening Prayer

I return to this familiar place every morning to seek God’s presence. I breathe deeply, still my body, quiet my mind, and draw near to the God who loves me.

Pause and Pray

Precious Lord, thank you for faithfully meeting me in this quiet corner. As the new day dawns, I long to hear a word from you. Speak to me through the sacred words of Ephesians and help me receive the unique message you have for me this morning. Amen.

Scripture Reading

At the rising of the summer sun, I lift my soul to the Lord and call to him with the words of Psalm 5.

Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:2-3

Pause and Pray

A person reveals how they think and feel by the words they choose to pray to God. This week’s section of Ephesians is a prayer. Earlier in the letter, Paul prayed for the believers (Ephesians 1:15-23) and now he does so again. A similar thematic thread runs through both prayers – Paul prays for revelation, knowledge, love and power in Jesus Christ. Paul’s prayer divulges a deep desire not only for the fledgling Christians in Ephesus but also for future generations of Christians including me. There is a play on words in the original Greek that is missed in English. The word for family (patria) is derived from the word for Father (pater) in Greek. Paul is saying that the concept of family is so important that it derives its very name from God’s name.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. Ephesians 3:14-15


Paul takes a posture of prayer as he “kneels” or “bows” before the Father. Bowing one’s knee is appropriate when approaching a mighty monarch or royal figure. Paul is writing this letter from a Roman prison cell and he is under threat from two superpowers – the Jewish religious authorities and the mighty Roman government. His life is in danger and his future is precarious. Execution looms on the horizon. In Acts 23-26, Paul records the names of numerous rulers in the hierarchies who have ultimate control over his fate. Yet, he does not bow down to them. He does not put faith in their power – he puts faith in the power of God and kneels before the Lord in complete trust.

Ask: Who are the authorities and what are the powers at work in my life? To whom do I “bow” in allegiance and where do I put my trust?

Pause and Pray

Dear God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I acknowledge your sovereign power in this world and in my circumstances. You are the Lord of my life and I turn to you. I submit to your authority, I kneel to your leadership, I defer to your rule, and I concede to your direction for my life. Additionally, I commit the people in my care to you – those in my family, those I lead, and those over whom I have influence and oversight. I read the words from Ephesians again and listen for the message you have for me.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. Ephesians 3:14-15

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

Today, I might consider taking a physical posture of prayer, acknowledging the sovereignty and power of the God I serve. Beyond bowing my head, I kneel on the ground, fall prostrate on the floor, place my face on the ground and spread my arms wide like I might lie before a mighty king. Perhaps I have underestimated God’s power. Maybe I have watered down God’s divine rule. Perhaps God wants me to remember that he is in charge. In every circumstance in my life, I need to humble myself, surrender to him, place my faith and trust in God and stop succumbing to the worries of the world and ineffectiveness of my own limited abilities.

Pause and Pray

Great and powerful, Almighty God, forgive me as I continue to take matters into my own hands and forget to put my faith in you. I gratefully acknowledge you as the supreme ruler, faithful lord, and ultimate leader of my everyday life. I put all things under your feet, bow to your control and surrender to your faithful leadership. Amen.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Closing Prayer

I leave this time of prayer trusting God with all my heart and following him in all my ways. I go into the world to love and serve others.


The First 15

Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.