The First 15

Monday October 19, 2020

by Sharon Reid

Opening Prayer

Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.

Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by You,
always follow Your plans,
and perfectly accomplish Your Holy Will.
Grant that in all things, great and small,
today and all the days of my life,
I may do whatever You require of me.
Help me respond to the slightest prompting of Your Grace,
so that I may be Your trustworthy instrument for Your honor.
May Your Will be done in time and in eternity by me,
in me, and through me. Amen.
— (St. Teresa of Avila, 16th century Carmelite nun)

Scripture Reading

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Ephesians 4:25-28

Reflection

The Apostle Paul’s soul training practice of not letting “the sun go down while you are still angry” is pretty easy to remember.

Anger itself is not sin, but holding on to anger can tempt us to move away from God’s values.

Prolonged anger can:

  • tempt us to hold grudges or become consumed with revenge or thoughts of making others suffer.
  • tempt us to harm others emotionally or even physically.
  • become harmful to our own health, weakening our immune system and increasing anxiety and depression.

Paul’s soul training practice leads us to honestly examine our anger and humbly seek a resolution before the sun goes down, so that both our relationships and our bodies at sleep can experience God’s restorative peace.

How has anger been affecting your relationships and your sleep lately?
Are you willing to commit, or recommit, to Paul’s soul training practice?

Closing Prayer

When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.

Oh God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on this dry and thirsty land. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, listen! Oh Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name. (Daniel 9:17-19)

The First 15

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