The First 15

Monday June 6, 2022

by Sharon Reid

Today is Monday, June 6, and today we are continuing to pray through chapter one of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Opening Prayer

As I enter this time of prayer, I pause to be still, I slow down my breathing, and I seek to be more fully present with God in these quiet moments.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, help me release my worries and distractions into your compassionate care as I rest in stillness with you. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I worship God, here and now, as I join with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 72.

Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. – Psalm 72:18-19 NIV

Pause and Pray

This week we continue prayerfully reading through chapter one of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. We remember that Paul had previously spent three years in Ephesus on his third missionary journey (see Acts 19). White Paul was in Ephesus, “all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. God did extraordinary miracles through Paul” (Acts 19:10b-11). However, Paul and his followers also experienced great conflict through encounters with sorcery, the power of demons, and loyalties to cult religion that resulted in a riot. Compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem, Paul told the Ephesian Elders, “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.” (Acts 20:25) and the elders wept as they embraced him and said goodbye. Now, years later from a prison cell in Rome, Paul writes this encouraging letter to his friends and the growing church in Ephesus.

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. – Ephesians 1:15-16 NIV

Reflection

I am in awe of how God blessed the seeds of faith Paul partnered with God to plant when he preached the gospel in Ephesus. I try to imagine the feelings and emotions Paul experienced as he wrote this letter to friends he knows he will never see again. I would imagine that hearing about their “love for all God’s people” was an enormous sign of fruitfulness that blessed Paul immensely, a measurement of the Ephesian Christians’ ever growing faith, and a sure sign they had been closely following the teachings and practices of Jesus.

Ask: If a good measurement of faith is a growing love for God and others, where do I see these signs of growth in my life? Where might I find signs of fruitfulness in my partnership with God to plant seeds of faith in others?

Pause and Pray

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

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. – Ephesians 1:15-16 NIV

Ask: What word, phrase or thought from this passage is God’s Spirit guiding me to notice? How will I carry it with me throughout the day?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me look inward and pay attention to what you have led me to see and hear. I invite you to transform me in these moments so that I might reflect the thoughts and actions of Jesus Christ throughout this day. Amen.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1 NIV

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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