Bible Verse: For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
Scripture Reading: Acts 9:1-31
I wonder if the early Church ever prayed for Saul.
If they did, I wonder if they prayed, “Deliver me from my enemies, O God” (Psalm 59:1) or “Strike all my enemies on the jaw” (Psalm 3:7).
Saul was a breakthrough prospect for the opposing team, a rising star who was threatening and persecuting the Church. We don’t know if the early Church prayed specifically about Paul, but I do find it curious to consider.
Jesus showed up in power on the road to Damascus, and Saul became Paul. It wasn’t a clever sermon, an excellent children’s ministry strategy, the perfect first experience at church, or an apologetics ministry that caused this.
Jesus showed up in power.
When we read the New Testament, there is a constant story of bold obedience, strategy, and total dependence on God.
They gave God what they had, and they knew they couldn’t make God’s kingdom come. Paul went to Roman cities, risked his life, but also knew that his effort and strategy were worthless if God didn’t show up. He writes to the Thessalonians that God clearly chose them because the Gospel came to them with His “power” (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5a).
How is your prayer life? Specifically, are you praying any impossible and missional prayers?
Are you praying for the “Sauls” of your world to become “Paul”? Are you praying that the lost would be found, the enslaved set free, the broken made whole, and the alienated brought home?
The Western church perennially tires of waiting upon and depending upon God to do what only God can do. We tire of prayer and instead talk technique, training, strategy, and human effort.
These good things have become the ultimate things that blind us to our dependence on Him.
For God’s Kingdom to come and will to be done, God will have to do what only God can do.
Choose today to recommit yourself to prayer. A missional life is a prayerful life. Strategy, training, competency, and effort have their place, but they will never be enough.
If we are going to see the Sauls become Pauls again, if revival is to come, if demonic chains are to be broken, and the lost found, God will have to do what only God can do. Let’s pray!
Prayer: Lord, please increase our faith. We have seen You work, but sometimes we doubt more than we want to admit. Redeem another Saul in our midst. Teach us to enter situations beyond our competency while trusting You. Come and do what only You can do. Let Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done. Amen!
Reflection: What would it take for you to carve out more space to pray for God’s mission to be accomplished in your midst? What keeps you from doing this? What would help you grow in your commitment to prayer?
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