Monday, May 19, 2014

Finishing Ephesians

I hate it when things break. On this coming Thursday I'll write a post about that. For now I'll just say that my desktop computer at home is in the shop, the laptop is shared between the wife and me, and neither it nor my Nook HD+ are suitable for large scale typing jobs. Hence, after having established a good rhythm in blog posts for a few weeks, last week I wasn't able to keep that up. Now it's Monday morning; I'm at work; and in my pre-work time trying to get my Sunday blog post written.

I was gone from our regular church for two Sundays: one to OKC for grandchildren birthday parties; and one on a road trip across country for a graduation. During that time the co-teacher of our Life Group completed teaching Ephesians. On Saturday he texted me, saying he'd finished it and asking if I was going to teach the next day (it was my week). I was planning on it, and I figured they'd finished Ephesians. So what to teach.

I had been thinking of two different lessons that could be drawn from the whole of Ephesians. One was analyzing Paul's teaching on prayer. The other was summarizing the commands we find in Ephesians. The latter seemed to me difficult to teach, and possibly too repetitive to what had been said in the classes the first time through. But the class on prayer seemed good to me. I had begun preparing it before the road trip, actually, so only had to review my notes.

The basis of this is that Paul teaches about prayer both by instruction and example in Ephesians. Here are the verses in Ephesians that deal with prayer.
  • 1:3 Paul Praises God for the Ephesians. Praise is a form of prayer.
  • 1:15-17 "I have not stopped giving that for you...."
  • 1:18-19a "I keep asking" that God will enlighten the eyes of your heart
  • 3:14-21 Paul's actual prayer for the Ephesians: a wonderful example
  • 5:4 There should be thanksgiving rather than obscenity and foolish talk
  • 5:19-20 "always giving thanks to God...for everything"
  • 6:16 Take up the shield of faith. Any discussion of faith is (or can be) a discussion of prayer
  • 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times. A good instruction for us
  • 6:19-20 Pray for Paul, his boldness to spread the gospel
  • 6:23-24 A doxology and blessing. Such things are prayers
Other verses wrap around these, and can be brought into a prayer discussion.

We had a lively discussion. That's the good think about this group, as far as a teacher's perspective goes. They are always ready to take part in almost any discussion. It makes the work of preparing for the class easier.

I'm going to miss Ephesians. Maybe I'll go through it again for my own purposes, and expand my notes a little. Who knows what I can make of them?

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