“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:13
A Thought for the Day
Take a moment to get comfortable. Close your eyes and allow your mind to pass over each of the five people that you are praying for during these eleven days. Imagine having a conversation with them next week about their encounter with Jesus. Imagine joining them in raising your hands in worship to God. Imagine the Holy Spirit speaking a word of encouragement to you through them. Imagine reading the Bible together, hearing them share their new faith with another friend, feeling the joy of being in God’s family just resonate out of them.
It would be pretty fantastic, right? Let the gratitude to God for these approaching moments just pour from your heart. Give him thanks as if it has already happened.
We know that this will only happen because of who God is and what he has done for your friends through Jesus. However, we also know that you, and especially your prayers, are a part of these friends’ journeys towards Jesus. So too is the sharing of God’s good news with them.
If we want to be able to celebrate their newly found relationship with Jesus, they will need to hear about what God has done for them through Jesus. Paul tells us that this good news is the power of God that brings salvation (Romans 1:16), that hearing it is what births faith in us (Romans 10:17), and that the feet of those who bring this good news are beautiful because of these things (Romans 10:15).
Dr. Willie James Jennings, in his commentary on Acts chapter 4, wisely says this, “Indeed there is no such thing as individual boldness for the followers of Jesus. Of course each disciple can and must be bold, but their boldness is always a together boldness, a joined boldness, a boldness born of intimacy. The modern lie of individualism is most powerful when we imagine that boldness comes from within. It does not. It comes from without, from the Spirit of God.” (“Acts” by Willie James Jennings, pg 49)
This too, is good news! You don’t need to muster up courage or find some inner strength to be able to share God’s good news with your five. That boldness already lives in you in the form of the Spirit of God. If you are a part of the people of God, then you are a part of the temple he dwells in. If you have faith in what Jesus did for you, then his presence is in you as a down payment of the oneness with God that is coming. And he has everything that you will need.
Take a moment to give thanks for that. Thank God today for your connection to his Spirit, and then go and live within the reality of that truth. Use his boldness, his passion to reveal Jesus, his love for those you are praying for.
Praying for your Five:
“Heavenly Father, thank you so much that when I heard the word of God, you enabled me to accept it as the word of God. Thank you for the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life, and his leading and empowering. Thank you that when the opportunity arrives, the Holy Spirit will gladly reveal Jesus through me to [say the names of your five here]. When they hear the word of God, by your Spirit enable them to accept it as the word of God too. Thank you so much that they will one day be able to join me in this union with you and all your people. Amen.”
Praying Something Old
When the earliest Christians had their boldness to share the good news of Jesus tested, they prayed this prayer (found in Acts 4:24-30). Pray this prayer over yourself today believing that we worship the same God that they did:
“Sovereign Lord, you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant David:
‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.’
Indeed Herod and Pontus Pilot met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and to perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Praying Something New
Seek to partner with the Holy Spirit in revealing Jesus to your five in a new way (for you) today. Maybe it is through praying in tongues and then seeking the interpretation. Maybe it is through a prophetic word or picture. Maybe it is through an act of generosity or leadership. Spend time praying for this new experience of partnership so your five can come to know Jesus and his love for them.