"Prayer: Renews the soul"
"And when he had said these things, He knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him"
Paul’s final words to the Ephesian elders
As a missionary Paul had founded the Christian church in the city of Ephesus. A city in modern day Turkey, He had spent 3 years pouring his life in to the ministry and people.
The apostle Paul took 3 missionary journeys. In chapter 20, his 3
rd trip; He is about to head for Jerusa-lem and he has to say goodbye to these saints at Ephesus with whom he has spent so much time with. It is a very touching scene and one of the most moving & heartwarming farewell speeches that have been ever recorded.
How Paul lived
Paul was committed to God’s people. He was committed to God’s words. His commitment was car-ried out in great humility and compassion. Paul’s purpose for his life was not to preserve his life but to fulfill God’s purpose in his life.
He believed with good reason that he will never see them again. He believed that God was leading him away from his friends for the rest of his earthly days.
A tearful parting: Acts 20:36-38
After the parting sermon that Paul preached to the elders of Ephesus, which was very affecting. They parted with prayer "And when he had thus spoken, He knelt down and prayed with them all." Paul committed them to God in prayer. Paul not only prayed for them but prayed with them, it was a hum-ble reverent prayer.
Prayer renewed their souls
"Then later they parted with tears", they fell upon Paul’s neck and kissed him. And they accompanied him unto the ship. It revealed that presence of Christ both went with him and stayed with them.
Paul taught them the power of prayer. It taught them that while they would be separated they were not separated from God. Isaiah 40:31 states that there is a mighty power in prayer. The strength will come from God as we give ourselves to him letting him take hold of our lives.
We will appreciate the words of David in Psalms 55 which he prayed during a painful time in his life. David poured out his heart to God. "As for me, I will call upon the Lord and the Lord shall save me."
Jesus prayed in the temple, in the wilderness, in quiet places (Matthew14:22), in the Garden of Geth-semane (Luke 22) and on the cross (Luke 23:34). He prayed alone and with others. Look at Jesus life, follow his example, and let’s pray where ever we are. If Jesus needed to pray, how can we do less?
Prayer: Heavenly Father help us to resist the lure of convenience and take time to be with you alone. So we may find your mercy, grace and the renewal of our souls. Amen ARCH 19, 2013
Hepsee Marutholil, Bethany MTC, NY.