I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace.
– Ephesians 4:1–3
Wow, what an exhortation. Paul, he says, I’m in prison for the Lord and I’m urging you to do something. I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Even that phrase alone “God’s call in our lives”.
Ephesians 4:1–3 Is a call to a virtuous Christian life.
So what does a life that’s worthy of the call of God to Jesus in our lives look like? And here’s how he spells it out, to walk with all humility and gentleness. This is what it means to live a life that’s consistent with the calling of God. Being humble, gentle, patient, to be patient with other people. To bear with other people and love, to believe the best about other people. To go out of your way to accommodate and love the people around you with an eagerness. Like I really want this, to maintain the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace. Doing everything you can, being eager to maintain the unity we have as followers of Jesus in his Spirit.
According to the bond of peace, there’s a bond of peace that binds us together. What imagery? All throughout these verses. And so I just want you to think about your life. Let’s think about our lives. I’ll do the same as we pray according to these verses. Let’s pray that God helps us live today in a manner worthy of the calling to which we’ve been called. God we want that in our lives. We want to walk in these ways. So we pray for humility.
Ephesians 4:1–3 Encourages us to live lives worthy of our calling.
God, we ask that you would remove all pride from us. Please forgive us for our pride. Please crucify our pride. We pray for humility and gentleness. Oh God, whenever the flesh rises up in us in ways that are not gentle… We pray that you would overcome our flesh with the fruit of your Spirit of gentleness with patience. God, we praise you for your patience with us.
We pray that you would help us to show patience to others as you have shown it so faithfully to us. Make us patient people. Help us to bear with others in love. God, knowing there are things we disagree about with others. There are things that even frustrate us about others. God help us to bear with them and love to overlook offenses when your Word gives us the freedom to do that. And when your Word calls us to confront others in sin, help us to do that in love. Help us to bear with one another in love even as we carry out your Word in that way.
God, that you would give us, please in all of our lives, we pray this over our churches and over your church broadly among us as Christians. You would give us an eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit that your blood Lord Jesus has bought for us. Help us to see each other as temples of your Holy Spirit and to maintain the unity we have in your Spirit in this bond of peace that you’ve made possible for us. God, we pray that the church would be a place of peace and that our relationships with one another would be a place of peace in our local churches and in the broader church.
Prayer for the Unreached
God, we pray all of this over our lives and your church, and God, we pray all this over unreached people in the world. We think about places in the world and people, groups that don’t have this unity of the Spirit, in the bottom of peace, that don’t have Jesus and have not even heard your call to salvation. God, we pray for 3 billion people and 7,000 people groups who need to hear that call that they might experience your salvation in Christ and the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
Lord, we pray, please help us to do all these things as your body so that the world might know your love. God, we pray for Ephesians 4:1–3, to be a reality in our lives and our churches so that the world might know who you are, how much you love them and might experience your salvation, that we would work well together as your church for the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth. We pray all this according to your Word in Ephesians 4:1–3. In Jesus name, amen.