Pray and Act
Paul's first trial before Felix, the governor of the region, is not decisive.
During World War II, there was a popular song with the phrase: "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." This snatch of verse captures a theme that runs throughout the Bible: assume human responsibility while relying on the sovereignty of God. Throughout the Bible, men pray and then act. Paul's arguments are clever and his logic is deft, as though he is relying on himself for his freedom. And yet under it all is a peace, a trust, a confidence that can only be explained by his rest in the Lord whom he serves. Whether his circumstances are good or bad, Paul regards wherever he is as the "world" into which the Lord wants him to go to "preach the gospel" (Mark 16:15).
Praise the Lord that we can rely on Him:
And Mary said:
"My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation" (Luke 1:46-50).
Pause for praise and thanksgiving.
Now pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
"Now, therefore," says the Lord,
"Turn to me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning."
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm (Joel 2:12-13).
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, and pray this affirmation to the Lord:
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
- A passion for moral excellence
- Christian educational institutions
- Today's activities
Finally, offer this prayer to the Lord:
Beloved, now we are children of God;
and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,
but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him,
for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).
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