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Monday 29th March 2021
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Prayer and Fasting for Church and Leadership – Day 13 of 40
Focus Passage for the Week: Ephesians 4:1-8
The Passion Translation
Our Divine Calling
4 As a prisoner of the Lord,[a] I plead with you to walk holy, in a way that is suitable to your high rank, given to you in your divine calling. 2 With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous[b] love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. 3 Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace, 4 being one body and one spirit, as you were all called into the same glorious hope of divine destiny.
5 For the Lord God is one, and so are we, for we share in one faith, one baptism, and one Father. 6 And he is the perfect Father who leads us all, works through us all, and lives in us all!
7 And he has generously given each one of us supernatural grace, according to the size of the gift of Christ. 8 This is why he says:
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us with simplicity of heart to see You in others, to see ourselves as You- Ambassadors of a heavenly kingdom, and walk in this conscience both for the leaders and the led in Your body. Grant us humility of heart and patience, gentleness and generous love towards all, including those who try our patience. Help us to live in harmony in all unity of Your Holy Spirit. Give us grace as we are truly willing to demonstrate and express Your love through the gift that You died to provide us so that we can be truly a blessing to Your body and the world in Jesus name, amen
Title: LIFE IN THE FAST LANE BY DR ARCHIBALD HART
Sixty-five million Americans (almost one in four) have high blood pressure. Fifty million have problems with sleep. Forty million suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. Untold millions are troubled with headaches, ulcers, back pain, and tension. This is an overstressed culture.
What does the Bible have to say about this? “This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and doing your own work” (1 Thess. 4:11).
Living a quiet life cuts right to the core of stress problem because all stress problems have one central cause: over-arousal. Whenever we are faced with demands or pressures, our body makes adrenaline. That’s good because adrenaline gives us energy to respond. But too much adrenaline for too long is destructive. Even if the pressures are good experiences, such as being excited about a project or challenged in a competition, the constant release of adrenaline can lead to many distressing consequences, including the most serious of all- heart attacks.
So God tells us that our ambition should be “to live a quiet life .” First Thessalonians 5:16-18 adds: “Always be joyful. Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you, who belong to Christ Jesus.”
These injunctions are the soundest advice I have ever encountered on how to counteract the ravaging effects of stress. The antidote for high stress is simply this: Live a quiet life, be joyful, keep on praying, and be thankful.
What does this say to us as parents? If we are guilty of living in the fast lane, we need to make our home a “haven of rest” where we can find refuge and live at a healthy pace. Fast-track living is contagious. Children catch it from their parents. So if a home is hectic and everyone is rushing hither and thither, everyone in that home will learn to live a highly stressed life.
Parents in the fast lane often pressure their children too much. They scrutinize school performance, criticize poor grades, and punish children for not fulfilling high standards. They push kids into activities too fast and too often. What is the effect of pushing a child too far or too fast? The child becomes overstressed and so do you.
You also disrupt the child’s development. While stress problems are mainly seen in adults, they always begin in childhood. Each child is different and must be allowed to develop at his or her own pace.
What does it mean to live a quiet life? It certainly doesn’t mean that you give up all ambition and quit everything. First Thessalonians 5:14 tells us to “warn those who are lazy.” Scripture nowhere affirms sloth, idleness, or inactivity as a style of life. But in the midst of life’s demands we have to find time to be quiet, to let the systems of our body and mind come down from a high state of arousal and rejuvenate. The body needs time to cool off so it doesn’t overheat.
What is interesting to me is how God linked spiritual disciplines with our needs for rejuvenation. Scripture is full of injunctions for stillness and quietness(see 1 Sam. 12:7; Job 37:14; Ps. 4:4; 46:10; Isaiah 32:17; 1 Thess. 4:11; 1 Pet. 3:4). Communication with God requires that we quiet ourselves. In other words, being joyful, praying, and maintaining a spirit of thankfulness is a two-way street. We need the spiritual disciplines of prayer and thankfulness to help us live a quiet life, and the act of quieting ourselves enables us to exercise these disciplines.
Parents need to be models of peaceful composure for their children (1 Thess. 5:13). We need not only to take the pressure off our children when it is unreasonable but to take it off ourselves as well. We need to get rid of obligations that are petty or unimportant and focus on the essentials of life. We need to cultivate an inner peace and be at harmony with God’s purposes (4:1). We need to dispose of anger and bitterness (5:5) and to focus on the essentials of our own work. This is what a quiet life is all about.
Make quietness your ambition so you can experience God’s peace (5:24). Slow down.
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 as a family. Challenge each member of the family to consider whether a fast-paced life has stressed the family. What activities can be abandoned in favor of more leisure time together as a family, and what activities can be encouraged that will help to slow down the pace a little?
- What is the value of God’s kingdom when we give priority to living a quiet and less stressful life? See 1 Thessalonians 4:12.
Have a blessed and awesome week in Him as always!
Amb. Monday O. Ogbe
Otakada Cyber Church Ministries Inc
Tel:USA +13027727022; USA +1-302-268-6313;