March 18, 2020
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for joining us in prayer today for our prodigals and for revival. There are many things to pray for these days, but we can rest assured that our God and Father is fully capable of handling every request we bring.
Yesterday, the world celebrated St. Patrick’s day, but on a much smaller scale than normal, due to the coronavirus pandemic. St. Patrick’s day commemorates a man who brought the Christian faith to Ireland in the year 432 AD. And now, the St. Patrick's Day parades and festivities which are celebrated reflect the Irish culture.
According to legend, Patrick was given the name Maewyn Succat when he was born and he changed his name to Patricius, or Patrick, which derives from the Latin term for "father figure.” He was born in Britain to a middle-class family in about 390 AD and was captured as a teenager by Irish raiders and sold to an Irish king, who put him to work as a shepherd boy, hungry, alone, and often bitterly cold.
Six years after his abduction, God spoke to him in a dream, saying, “Your hungers are rewarded. You are going home. Look—your ship is ready.” He ran away from his captors to the Irish coast about two hundred miles away, where he was able to board a ship to Britain and return to his family. He was a changed man, and eventually entered a monastery and become a priest, then a bishop. After thirty years, he went back to Ireland as a missionary to share with the people the good news of Christ. The Irish of this time still practiced human sacrifices and Patrick knew he was risking enslavement and possibly death.
In going back to the people who once captured him, Patrick did the unthinkable. Yet he didn’t go on his own strength. His courage was founded in his deep intimacy with his God and his love for the people he served. Now, centuries later, we are living in different yet equally difficult days, and we, too, need to cultivate a close relationship with our God for the tasks He has for us to do. As we allow God’s love to flow into us, our roots will deepen and our faith will be strengthened. In writing to the Colossians, Paul said, “Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Col 2:6-7). Saint Patrick once said, “May the wisdom of God instruct us. May the hand of God protect us. May the Word of God direct us.” And I would add, “May the courage of God embolden us.” Draw near to Him today and seek His face with all your heart.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel