Ephesians 4

Unity in the Body

 1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.

Holy Spirit, this seems so impossible.  I am such a sinner. I don’t know what my calling is, and I’m not sure I want to know.  Don’t be too kind Lord.  It is time to kick me into becoming the person You want me to be.  Holy Spirit, rush upon me and live in me.  Control me, though I know You don’t do that.  I always take back control and drag You back into my failings.  Help!!!  Please just change me now, today and forever.    

2 Always be humble and gentle.

Father, I was teaching my daughter the Beatitudes when she asked me what “meek” meant.  I told her it meant patient and gentle.  At that point her brother spoke up and said, “no one at our house is like that.”  He was so right.  Father, I should be so humble and meek for no one can be a worse sinner than I, and yet I am not.  You have made me much better than I once was, but I have so far to go. 

I think I need to learn to love the journey with You, because I can’t imagine I will ever reach the destination.    

Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

Holy Spirit, I need You to give me patience so bad.  I know it is a fruit of the Spirit listed in Galations.  I guess it is more correct to ask You to fill me so I can bare the fruit of patience in my life.  You have been so patient with me Father and I have so many faults of my own, You would think I would have “the patience of Job”…but I don’t.

Jesus, if Your Word can change me, and I believe it can (You can) please grant me this plea.  Make me more patient.  Let me not see other’s faults without also seeing my own.  Humble, gentle and patient – that would make me a good husband and father – like You God.    

3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

Jesus, we need peace in our marriage and in our home.  How can we be united in the Spirit?  What can I do?  I know You want me to pray with my wife more.  I don’t know why I haven’t followed through with that.  I’ll try harder at that.  Please help her to be receptive to it.    

4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

Jesus, what is that hope, for right now I am feeling very hopeless?  It is very hard to look forward to heaven when the pain of this life looks as if it will go on forever.  Is there hope for my family here on earth?  How did things ever get this negative?  Help me see Your work and control Lord.  Help me have faith in You.  Change me.    

5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.

Father, live through me.  Be so alive in me that sin is not a temptation.  Help me to love You as I should.  Be over me.  Let You life show in me to others.  Your life in me is the only real life there is.  Change me.    

 7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift[a] through the generosity of Christ. 8 That is why the Scriptures say,

   “When he ascended to the heights,
      he led a crowd of captives
      and gave gifts to his people.”[b]

 9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world.[c] 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.

Jesus, You have filled the universe, fill me.  I am struggling Lord.  I need You to change me so much.  I need to stand more and fall less.  I need to connect again with my wife and family.  I need You Lord.  Help.    

 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.

Father, is that my responsibility to my family?  Equip them for Your work and build them up?  I feel like I have failed in so many ways.  But maybe not.  As my children get to adulthood they are good and they are Christian.  I don’t know what You want of them or if they are ready.  I’m sure I should have done much better Lord.  I am sorry.  Thank-you for my family though Lord.  Thank-you for making us part of You.  Bring us all home some day Lord.    

13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

Jesus, is that our hope for a peaceful family.  When I and my wife are one in You, then we will start to live in harmony?  It makes a lot of sense.  You are the center of the universe.  You are the universe.  If we do not agree on You and worship You together, how can we be unified about anything.  Bring us together in You Lord.  I have done so much harm in this area.  Forgive me and bring us together in prayer and service.     

 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.

Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit, when will I grow up?  I’ve known You for a long time now.  Well, I guess that is relative.  To You it has been only the blink of an eye.  But I am so easily fooled by the ways of this world.  By sin and temptation.  When will that be past and I will stand firm with You?  Please help me grow up God.  Change me, please.    

15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

Father, help me to speak the truth in love.  So often my words are harsh and cold, even if they are true.  Too often, they aren’t even the truth.  Jesus always spoke the truth, but He knew love and gentleness.  Father, please help me to be like Jesus fore He is truth and is love.    

16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Jesus, fit me into Your body, and fit my family together into Your body.  Help me to be the part You want me to be, whatever it is.  I’ve lived long enough with family strife  and strife at work.  It is time for peace.  Mold me and change me Lord so I can fit into Your plans and Your body.      


Living as Children of Light

 17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

Father, I still pursue lustful pleasures sometimes.  I know this leads me away from the “life God gives”.  I need Your life Father.  My life, this worldly life, it isn’t even close to fulfilling.  I do not live in darkness because of Your mercy.  I have no excuse.  You have taught me some shame.  Father, somehow give me the strength to completely leave my worldly life and ways behind.  Keep me close to Your life.  Change me.    

 20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.

Father, I know this is what You want me to do.  I know You want me to just throw my life in this world (my sins, my material wants, my worries, and my fears) aside and live for You.  Why is it so hard for me?  You have always been great to me.  I have known Your presence and Your love.  Help me to take Your hand Father and run over the edge of this life and into Your life.  Leave all my “stuff” behind – only You.     

23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Holy Spirit, please change me.  I know I probably am not letting You somehow.  I don’t really know how.  Show me Holy Spirit what I am doing that keeps You from changing me.  But please, change me.  Renew my thoughts and attitudes – make them new again.  Change them so I can be truly righteous and holy.  Change how I think about everything.   

 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.

Father, I think I am honest, but You know I am prone to exaggeration.  You know I love to make a good story just a little bit better.  I am sorry.  But more Important Father, I am slow to tell people about You.  Not telling them that it is You that keeps me going is the same as telling a lie because I let them think it is my own strength.  Holy Spirit inspire me to tell the truth, and You ARE truth.    

26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”[d] Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Father, I really can’t think of a single time when I got angry, and it worked out good for me.  I really don’t need anymore trouble in my life.  Help me to not make decisions, or open my mouth ( especially open my mouth) when I am angry.  As many people as I have hurt in my life, and as many mistakes as I have made, what right do I have to be angry with anyone anyway.  I am sorry God.    

 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.

Father, this seems so obvious, and I don’t see myself as a thief.  Perhaps I do not always give my employment 100% effort.  Yes I probably should work a little harder.  I could be more generous to others, no doubt about that.  In a way, that means I am stealing from You doesn’t Father.  It is hard Lord.  Giving more is not something my household agrees on.  That isn’t an excuse to steal from You.  I am sorry Lord.  Help!    

29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Jesus, I know You are calling me to be more encouraging to others.  This really speaks to me.  My language is not foul and abusive, but it is not always encouraging either.  My family needs this Lord.  Many of us have so many discouraging or down days.  Help me to lift my family’s spirits and give them hope with words of encouragement.      

 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live.

Holy Spirit, I know I bring You sorrow sometimes.  I still can be like the dog that returns to his vomit.  I still go back to my old ways.  Thank-you for this verse today.  I had forgotten it.  Help me to bring You joy and not sorrow.  Help me to live in Your fruit, and not in my sins.     

Remember, he has identified you as his own,[e] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Holy Spirit, I know You have marked me.  You have changed me.  I have a long way to go, but I am not what I once was.  The good I do, I only do because of You.  You are my only hope of redemption, and because of You it is assured.  Glory to You God!  Glory!  Amen!     

 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Jesus, what a wonderful home I would live in, if this was how we all lived.  It would be heaven!  I know I can only change me.  I really can’t even do that, I can only allow You to change me.  But make this me Lord.  This needs to be the theme of my life.  This sums it all up.  Help me be an example.  Change me Lord, change me.   

  1. Ephesians 4:7 Greek a grace.
  2. Ephesians 4:8 Ps 68:18.
  3. Ephesians 4:9 Or to the lowest parts of the earth.
  4. Ephesians 4:26 Ps 4:4.
  5. Ephesians 4:30 Or has put his seal on you.