News and Articles
11 January 2019
In today’s passage from the Letter to the Ephesians, Paul focuses on three relationships and invites us to live in submission to one another. This is the final post in our series this week.
Today’s post is the fifth in a series of five posts. Look back through the week’s posts to continue praying together:
- Day 1: Overwhelming blessing
- Day 2: Available power
- Day 3: Supernatural unity
- Day 4: Prepared for growth
- Day 5: No no-go areas
No no-go areas | Ephesians 5:21 – 6:9
In this passage, Paul focuses on three relationships where Jesus-followers must live in mutual submission (see verse 21). The first is marriage (Ephesians 5:22–33):
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord… (Ephesians 5:22)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy… (Ephesians 5:25–26a)
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)
Notice that both the husband and the wife have responsibilities in marriage: both must make the decision to love and respect their partner. If you are married this would be a good opportunity to pray for your own behaviour towards your spouse – or perhaps to pray together for your marriage this year. Why not take time to pray too for a few other married couples who the Spirit is reminding you of? You could start like this:
Father, this is what I want to pray for x and y, and for a and b…
And those of us who are not married can pray the same prayer for some of the marriages in Above Bar Church, too.
Time to read more?
• Read Ephesians 6:1–4 in your Bible
Now Paul turns to the relationship between parents (this is what he means when he uses the word fathers in verse 4) and children. Children are called to obey and honour their parents; parents are to be fair and to bring up their children ‘in the training and instruction of the Lord’. As you look at these verses, let’s pray for the reality of this in our own lives (and pray too for people in Above Bar Church who have no children of their own). Start like this:
Father, thank you for inventing families. Sometimes they are wonderful and sometimes they are painful. I want to pray…
• Read Ephesians 6:5–9 in your Bible
This paragraph is about slaves and masters, but we can apply it to employees and bosses too. All of us are to work for Jesus rather than for people, because we know ‘that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do’. And employers are to treat their workers fairly because ‘he who is both their master and yours is in heaven’.
As you look at these verses, why not pray for your own work situation, or for the situation of others who spring to mind, and especially that we all do all our work as ‘slaves of Christ’? You might begin like this:
Lord Jesus, help me and all of us in Above Bar Church to live our lives for you…