• johned@aibi.ph

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Eternity 17 - Prayers That Work - Praying For A Ministry Opportunity

(Romans 1:9-12 NKJV) For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, {10 } making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. {11 } For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established; {12 } that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

Do you have a special ministry opportunity that you long for? Is there something on your heart that you keep praying about, that has you hooked in? A special kind of Christian website, an evangelistic crusade to a town that has few Christians, a counselling ministry among a certain type of people?

But are there formidable obstacles in the way? Are things a lot more difficult than expected? Does it seem impossible to realise your dream? Well Paul had a deep desire to visit Rome and yet he kept hitting brick walls. Lets look at how Paul prayed and God dealt with the obstacles.

First back in Acts 19 the vision is born in Paul's heart:
(Acts 19:21 NKJV) When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome."

Paul is used to travelling freely and it seems that this plan is just "the next and the best crusade". He expects to be on his way to Rome soon. But the Devil has other ideas and opposes Paul's prayer and Paul's destiny.

In Jerusalem Paul's very presence causes a riot! The Romans arrest him and the Jews plot to kill him. In the midst of this disaster God confirms Paul's ministry desire.
(Acts 23:11 NKJV) But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome."

You would think that Paul would just pop out of prison and be on the next ship to Rome. Wrong! He spends two years falsely imprisoned in Caeserea as corrupt officials wait for a bribe. Paul gets so desperate to go to Rome that he "appeals to Caesar". So he is shipped as a political prisoner to Rome.

Ok, Paul's destiny seems back on track! But the Devil is unrelenting, the ship gets blown off course by a huge storm and everyone thinks they are going to die. But God wants Paul in Rome and nothing is going to stop that!

When things are grim indeed along comes an angel and confirms the prayer yet again: (Acts 27:24 NKJV) "saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.'

Finally of course Paul does get to Rome - and that arrival is the final chapter of the book of Acts.
(Acts 28:14-16 NKJV) where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome. {15 } And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. {16 } Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him...Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, {31 } preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Paul's prayer for the ultimate ministry opportunity was answered! The desire in his heart was often in his prayers "I pray without ceasing that I may visit' - and then confirmed twice by God .

The call, the vision, the desire, the prayer was so important and so strategic that Satan opposed it at every turn. Yet all the delays and assaults of the enemy could not stop it. God got behind that prayer! God worked out Paul's destiny and answered Paul's prayer while Paul was opposed by assassins, stuck in jail or chained on a storm-tossed ship.

Neither human hatred, official corruption, natural disaster or chains and guards could stop Paul getting to Rome. Remember that ministry dream of yours? Well take it before God again, persist in prayer, show God you really want it - and He will deal with the obstacles!


John Edmiston


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