The First 15

Thursday August 4, 2022

by Sharon Reid

Today is Thursday, August 4, 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 and quiet and 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 and praise and worship, using these ancient words of all God’s people in Psalm 85.

I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. – Psalm 85:8-10

Pause and Pray

There are two highly important themes in this week’s teaching from the Apostle Paul: “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18b) and “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:21). Paul uses specific examples and teaching to draw us into a deeper understanding of just how important our ‘connectedness’ is – both with the Spirit and with one another.

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. – Ephesians 5:28-30

Reflection

The phrase, “listen to your body” comes to my mind as I read these verses. Listening to one another is one of the essential practices of loving relationships – both within the covenant of marriage and within the body of Christ. To know God’s will I must be willing to listen to God. To be filled with the Spirit I must be willing to listen for the Spirit’s promptings. To submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, the body of Christ must be willing to listen to one another’s needs, opinions and ideas.

Paul’s illustration to husbands is a reflection of the teaching of Jesus’ we often call The Golden Rule, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 7:12)

Ask: Who will I struggle to listen to within the body of Christ today? Why do I struggle to listen? What could we all gain by listening to one another within the body of Christ?

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.

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. – Ephesians 5:28-30

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.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1 John 4:12

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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