Here is the prayer challenge.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can hardly get words off of my brain or out of my mouth to the Lord. There are a few reasons why we don’t pray, and we will talk about that in session 1 of the 2-part series. But just know that I don’t take lightly that sometimes you can FEEL too depressed, overwhelmed, anxious, busy, etc. to pray (that’s a cue for us to pray 😊) – or that it doesn’t really matter if you pray (that’s 1 of the 3 reasons we’ll hear about in the session on why we don’t pray).
Even before I introduce the challenge, I want to say this: Don’t make it a matter of your worthiness. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more or less. This is simply about strengthening our prayer muscles. Just a little. If you’re already regularly engaged in prayer more than this then keep it up. But even so, if it’s not too much to ask, add this so that as a group we are all praying for the same thing.
Challenge: We are going to pray for something I can guarantee is part of God’s will for your life. Does it sound like a trick? It’s not. There are certain things in the Bible we know for certain are part of the Lord’s gracious, merciful, kind, sovereign, loving will for us. This is one of them.
Pick a time where you are most likely to be free for 1 minute over the next 3 weeks until we meet again (there are 5 Mondays this month – next meeting 11/6). Set an alarm on your watch or phone daily for that time. If you can add a name or label to the alarm, call it “Eph 4:1”, “pray”, or something meaningful to you. When it goes off take a moment to breathe, calm your mind, and recognize that no matter what is going on in the world and in your life, God is not surprised and He loves you.
I’ll paraphrase the part of Ephesians 4:1 to which I am referring: “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” So, after you have calmed your mind, ask our all-powerful and all-knowing Lord, “Gracious Father, help me to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which I have been called.” And if you want to add to it, add your family. In my case I would add “… and help Kathleen, Hannah, Noah, Seth, and Zach to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have called them.”
Commentary on this verse:
4:1 therefore. This word marks the transition from doctrine to duty, principle to practice, position to behavior. This is typical of Paul (see Rom. 12:1; Gal. 5:1; Phil. 2:1; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:1). the prisoner of the Lord. By mentioning his imprisonment again (see 3:1), Paul gently reminded Ephesian believers that the faithful Christian walk can be costly and that he had paid a considerable personal price because of his obedience to the Lord. walk worthy.“Walk” is frequently used in the N.T. to refer to daily conduct. It sets the theme for the final 3 chapters. “Worthy” has the idea of living to match one’s position in Christ. The apostle urged his readers to be everything the Lord desires and empowers them to be. calling. This refers to God’s sovereign call to salvation, as always in the epistles. See note on Rom. 8:30. The effectual call that saves is mentioned in 1:18; Rom. 11:29; 1 Cor. 1:26; Phil. 3:14; 2 Thess. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1