3 Days of Prayer and Fasting (2022/01)

Acts 25:13-26:32

Day 1: Loving God
In Acts 25:26, Festus refers to Caesar as his lord,” but Paul addresses the risen Jesus as “Lord” in Acts 26:15. This shows where their allegiances lie. It was Paul’s conviction that he served the risen Lord Jesus, who has all authority in heaven and on earth, that enabled him to bear boldness to both to “small and great” (Acts 26:22).
Acts 25:23 says, “So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in.” Agrippa and Bernice arrive with “great pomp” in their royal regalia. They are accompanied by “military tribunes” with their uniforms and medals, and by the “prominent men” in all their pretenses of power and luxury. Then, with utter simplicity, “Paul [is] brought in.” It would have been easy for Paul to be overwhelmed and intimidated. Arrayed before him is a spectacular display of earthly wealth, authority, and power, and here he is Paul, a lone prisoner. But, in fact, he is not alone. Paul says later in 26:22, “To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great.” Because the Lord Jesus who has all authority in heaven and on earth stands by him to help him, Paul is able to stand up and testify “both to small and great” without shrinking.
Do you regularly remember and give thanks for what God has done for you in Christ? How he “opened [your] eyes, so that [you] may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that [you] may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Christ]” (Acts 26:18)?
  • Praise God for the specific ways in which He has demonstrated His Kingship and Lordship in your life and throughout history.
  • Confess the ways in which you admire and desire the power, wealth, and cultural clout of the people of the world.
  • Confess the ways in which you care more about how people think of you than of how God thinks of you.
  • Pray that God would reveal to you the idols that you worship in place of Christ, and enable you to forsake them and worship Christ alone.
  • Ask God to help and strengthen you, so that you might stand and testify to Jesus before your family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Tell God about the guilt and shame you are carrying and lay them down at the foot fo the cross, then receive His forgiveness and remember that you are a saint of God (“sanctified by faith” Acts 26:18).
  • Give thanks specifically to God for all that He has done for you in Christ.

Day 2: Loving One Another
In this passage, Paul repeatedly attests to his innocence toward the Jews. He has never desecrated the temple. He was never against the Jews. Rather, he has sought “to open [the] eyes” of both “[his] people and … the Gentiles” (Acts 26:17-18). His mission has been to proclaim Christ, who suffered and rose from the dead, to “proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” Jews who don’t believe in Jesus need to have their spiritual eyes opened every bit as much as the Gentiles. This would have been a shocking message for the Jews. It means that, even the people who are very religious and spiritual, who seem to think that they have all the answers, who have a religious upbringing and a spiritual heritage, can be lost. It is, likewise, possible that some of our own church members and regular attendees are actually lost without Christ. Are we shining the light of Christ to our fellow church members? Hebrews 3:12-13 says, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” It’s possible that some of the worst pain that is inflicted on us might come from our own people. Are we prepared to “warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thess. 5:14 NIV).
  • Pray that we’d be Christians who do not take one another for granted, but exhort and encourage one another faithfully.
  • Pray that God would humble the prideful, encourage the disheartened, strengthen the weak, wake up the idle/slothful, and comfort those who wallow in guilt and shame.
  • Pray that our members would be submitted fully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every aspect of their lives.
  • Pray that God would raise up more pastoral interns and keep the elders of the church in the pattern of Christ’s humility, servant-leadership, courage, gentleness, and love.

Day 3: Loving Our Neighbors
In Acts 26:27, King Agrippa incredulously asks Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul, you’re the one on trial here, you’re a prisoner, and you only have a brief moment here to defend yourself, and are you trying to persuade me to become a Christian during this short time?” And Paul’s response in verse 29 is amazing, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” How would you answer if one of your friends or co-workers or neighbors asked you point blank, “are you trying to convert me to be a Christian?” “Uh, well, no, not exactly, I’m not trying to change you or proselytize, I just want to tell you about what I believe.” No, that’s not Paul’s answer. Paul’s answer is an emphatic, “yes!”Yes I’m trying to convert you, and not only you, but everyone who is listening to me this day.”
  • Pray that we might be filled with the Holy Spirit, so that we bear bold and unapologetic witness to Jesus.
  • Pray that the sharing the gospel with unbelievers would be a weekly occurrence among our members, and baptisms a frequent, even monthly, occurrence.
  • Pray by name for your unbelieving family members, friends, and neighbors.
  • Pray for opportunities to share the gospel with some of them this week, and ask God for ideas of how you might approach them and create more opportunities.
  • Pray for spiritual and physical protection for Mattea, that she would serve with the assurance of the Father’s love, that she would learn the language quickly and work well with her teammates.

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