To the Church in Ephesus
2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
LORD, this day let me see that you are walking in the middle of the church services. YOU are in the middle of the life and ministry of your people. Open our eyes to see you.
2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary.
LORD, help us to be involved in doing the works you have called us to, ready for the blood, sweat, and tears of ministry. Give us hearts ready to run the marathon of a faithful life of service to you. Help us not tolerate in our lives evil and keep us from not confronting open rebellion against you in our communities. Help us to stand for true doctrine and to be ready to suffer persecution for the sake of righteousness and for YOU. Renew our strength that we may not become weary in doing your will in our lives
4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
LORD, stir up our hearts to love. Tell us again the stories of how you loved us and the other believers so much that you died for them. Grant us a vision of how precious other believers are to you that we may find them just as precious to us. Help us see you more clearly so that we might love you more dearly, and then follow you in giving up our lives for each other even as you gave up YOUR life for us. Lord help us live lives worthy of the gospel.
6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
LORD, let us hate the idea that we may sin that grace may abound. Help us to turn against the idea that being saved by grace leads us to a lifestyle of guilt free to sin. Allow us to see that your grace should lead us to say no to sin and yes to righteousness out of wild gratitude for your love.
7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ (ESV)
LORD, you have given us the victory in your death, burial, and resurrection all done for our good. Allow us to truly from the heart, have a real belief in YOU that we may know YOU personally and dwell with you forever in Eden restored on steroids. Amen