We can learn a lot from reading the Bible, and we can also learn a lot from reading into the lives of our Bible heroes. I am continually amazed by the life of the Apostle Paul! He was a true example of a life of faith. His life, far from being easy, set the pace for anyone attempting to serve God in ministry.
- He wrote half the New Testament, yet at times he hardly had enough clothes to keep him warm! (2 Corinthians 11:27)
- He was the Apostle to the Gentiles and one of the pillars of the Church, yet people said of him that he was a poor speaker/communicator! (2 Corinthians 10:10)
- He mentored and brought along others more than we see from any other Apostle in the Scripture, yet towards the end of his life many had deserted him. (2 Timothy 4:9-20)
- God called him to be one of the original preachers, and as a direct result of the call he suffered in a prison and eventually was killed! (1 Timothy 5:11-12)
Paul went through so much hardship for Christ, yet he remained faithful
Paul set the example for us in faith and life. One thing about him that was also exceptional was his prayer life. Indeed, it was Paul's prayer life that sustained him through all his trials, and it was this that made him an effective minister for Christ.
Leonard Ravenhill once said that one thing he would've loved to have experienced was to sit and listen at the door of the Apostle Paul's prayer room. We are somewhat enabled to do this when we listen to certain passages of Scripture.
One of those I read for devotions this morning and is found in 2 Timothy, chapter 1:
"I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience"
Paul gives a theological truth of the passing of God's work from the Jews to all people in Christ. Paul's forefathers were Jews. Paul was a Christian. Yet, both served God with a "clear conscience" because of this transition.
"As night and day"
A key to prayer is praying often. One Christian said, "let prayer be the key that unlocks the door in the morning and the bolt that closes it shut at night." Let us pray like the Apostles by
praying often; both morning and night.
"I constantly remember you in my prayers"
One of the themes of the Apostle was that he constantly prayed for many things. Another theme is that he often "mentioned" people in his prayers. Our prayer lists are so long, how can we pray for everyone. Part of the secret is by simply mentioning the names of those we pray for.
Sometimes there is no need for lengthy prayers (at other times there is). God knows our need before we speak it to him. Pray by "remembering" or "mentioning" and trust that God has heard us without always needing to convince him. This will allow us to pray for much more.