The First 15

Tuesday August 2, 2022

by Sharon Reid

Today is Tuesday, August 2, 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 25.

Because the Lord is righteous and good, he teaches sinners the path they should follow. He leads the humble in the right way and teaches them his will. With faithfulness and love he leads all who keep his covenant and obey his commands. Keep your promise, Lord, and forgive my sins, for they are many.
Those who have reverence for the Lord will learn from him the path they should follow. – Psalm 25:8-12

Pause and Pray

Paul dives into the volatile waters of human relationships by presenting a discipline for living that Jesus himself modeled for us.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. – Ephesians 5:21

Reflection

Today I focus on this one sentence of Paul’s teaching that will become a lens to help me better understand the verses that follow.

Jesus, the Son of God, the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings lived his life on earth by the discipline of submission. Jesus is co-equal with the Father and the Spirit in the Trinity and yet he chose to live his life on earth in submission to God in all things.

Practicing the discipline of submission did not make Jesus a second-class citizen. But, when I hear the word ‘submission’, I often color it with a negative or even degrading connotation.

In his book, Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster writes, “Every discipline has its corresponding freedom. What freedom corresponds to submission? It is the ability to lay down the terrible burden of always needing to get our own way. The obsession to demand that things go the way we want them to go is one of the greatest bondages in human society today.”

Ask: How often do I feel the terrible burden of always needing to get my own way? Have I ever recognized this attitude as a kind of bondage? What kind of freedom and peace might the discipline of submitting to God and one another provide in my relationships?

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.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.. – Ephesians 5:21

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 pause and examine how I am living and how I am thinking. 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. Guide me to submit to you and submit to others out of reverence for Christ. On this day, may my words, thoughts and actions be used by you as undistorted reflections of Jesus Christ in the world. Amen.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. – James 4:7-8

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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