Showing posts with label Paul’s prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul’s prayer. Show all posts

June 13, 2013

God answers a prayer with a no

Background: The Apostle Paul had it all! Passion for God, a good education, and a lucrative job. Then a revelation from Christ knocked him to the ground! The LORD wowed him, empowered him, and took him all around the known world to seed, nurture, and strength the church Body of Christ.

Sometime during that time, Paul had another revelation or vision that whisked him into the “third heaven.” Whether an in-body or an out-of-body experience, even he did not know. Regardless, Paul was caught up – lifted up into Paradise where he heard “things not to be told. Things no human can repeat.”

Naturally or, rather, supernaturally, this made Paul so ecstatic he might have been in danger of floating away! But then, many churches might have drifted away too. Many letters to Christians might not have been written.

To do his work for the Body of Christ on earth, Paul needed to stay grounded. A string could tether him to keep him from floating away like a balloon. Or a pointed reminder could let out some air. Or, as Paul wrote to the church in Corinth:

To keep me from being
too elated,
I felt a thorn in the flesh,
I sensed a messenger of Satan sent
to torment me to keep me
from being too elated.

Three times I prayed about this.
Three times I appealed to the LORD
to take away the thorn, but God said:

“For you, My grace will suffice,
and weakness will perfect your power.”

So now, I will boast of my weakness.
For now, the Spirit of Christ can fill me,
and I am content.

Despite the insults, offenses,
abuse, and catastrophe –
wrongdoings that came to me
because I belong to God –
whenever I am weak,
in Christ
I am strong.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, prayer-a-phrase of today’s Daily Bible Reading from 2 Corinthians 12:1-10


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