The Alternative to Argument

And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

Think about times you were provoked to anger. What provoked you? What were you feeling before you felt angry? What did you do with your anger?

I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument. (1 Timothy 2:8)

Sometimes we feel bound up, and we try to break free by angry argument.

Consider the following incident of bondage and deliverance: He put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them....and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. (Acts 16:24-25)

For the entire context read Acts 16:16-34.

For Reflection & Sharing:

  1. Consider the things Paul and Silas could have done in this situation. What would you have done? What do you do when feeling bound?

  2. Why is prayer (and singing hymns to God) so powerful?

  3. What are some of the things in your life and in your relationships that resist change? What are some of the strangleholds on your life?

  4. What have you been doing to bring about a change? What place does prayer have in what you are doing?