The First 15

Wednesday January 13, 2021

by David Alexander

Opening Prayer

In the busyness of our everyday lives, we often fail to prepare our hearts and minds for reading God’s word and experience God in this time. Take a moment to allow this prayer to lead you into your time with God today. 

As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God. 

Holy and loving God, in this new season I invite you to shape my soul with your words and inspire my life with your works. Teach me to walk in the way of peace and grace. AMEN. 

*This prayer adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network. To find out more about this resource, visit this link. 

Scripture Reading

Matthew 6:9-15

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


How could James and John have been so *out of step* with Jesus? 

In Mark 10:32-34, Jesus predicts that he will die in Jerusalem. In verse 35, James and John say, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 

We are understandably shocked at their ignorance, and yet, the gospels remind us that this is not an isolated incident. We are often surprised by the disciples’ lack of understanding. We wonder, “how could they have so dramatically misunderstood Jesus?”

But these moments also lead us to wonder how we do the same. And when grace gives birth to humility, we begin to ask the more important questions. 

Jesus, how have I missed what you have been doing in my life? 

In what way may I still be misunderstanding your work in me and through me today? 

When you are finished with your time of reflection and before you close in prayer, spend a few moments committing the word of Ephesians 4:32 to memory. 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Closing Prayer

Loving God, thank you for your gift of grace made available to me through the work of Jesus Christ. I pray for the power of your grace to be unleashed in my life that it may soften my heart. May the grace received in my life be expressed through my life in everything I do and say this day. AMEN. 

The First 15

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