Ann gives me a hard time because I don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. With an Irish name like Malone, she is sure I am denying my heritage – or at least missing out on some fun. St. Patrick was an amazing person. He is was born in 387 AD in Britain. Irish pirates captured him when he was 14 and he spent the next seven years as a slave in Ireland. Patrick was a Christian when captured, and despite being surrounded by druids and pagan, his years in captivity grew him close to the Lord. Patrick eventually escaped and returned home. After training to be a priest, he returned to Ireland as a missionary. Patrick spent the rest of his life planting churches and seeing pagans and druids come to know the Lord.
St. Patrick’s life beautifully illustrates Sunday’s sermon. He knew the hardship of slavery among people who had never heard of the gospel. He did not have the support of a church, small group or even a Bible. That did not stop the Holy Spirit from comforting Patrick and draw him close to the Lord. Most people would not choose to return to the land of their slavery, but Patrick did because he was confident that the Holy Spirit led him there. His ministry was successful because the Holy Spirit went ahead of him to work in the hearts of the druids and pagans who knew nothing of the Lord.
I want the same for my life. I want to be more aware of how the Holy Spirit comforts and guides me. I want to be more aware of how He convicts the people around me who need Jesus. That is a good way to pray. It is also why I suggested journaling how you see the Holy Spirit guiding and convicting. It will make you more aware of the Holy Spirit’s activity in and around you.
How to pray for FBC
Pray for guidance for whatever ministry you are involved in. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your Small Group or Life Group leader. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide the Nursery, Awana, and Children’s Ministry leaders, the youth leaders, and the Encore leaders. The same can be prayed for the leaders of our music ministry, tech ministry, safety team – whatever ministry you are in, the leaders need prayer.
How to pray for our Community
What must it have been like to take the gospel to pagans and druids – people who knew nothing about Jesus? East Texas has the opposite challenge. Jesus is well-liked. Our problem is that people know a lot about Jesus, but do not know Him or follow Him. The message of the gospel falls on deaf ears because they think they know it. They believe that they are Christians because they go to church, they listen to the right radio stations, they avoid the right sins. It’s salvation by works, not the gospel. The solution to St. Patrick’s challenge and our challenge is the same: the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Pray that the people around you who need the Lord will see their need. Only the Holy Spirit can open their eyes.
How to Pray for Our World
Last Sunday’s crash of the Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people is an opportunity to pray for comfort. I pray that the survivors will experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit that points them to Jesus. Pray that the Lord will bring Christians into their lives who will show them God’s love action.