Fifty Days of Prayer | Day 23

Praying for Church Planting through the Book of Acts

After leaving the island of Cyprus Paul and Barnabas came to Antioch in Pisidia. Going to the synagogue there Paul was asked to teach. So he preaches through the history of Israel from Abraham to Samuel to David. He preaches about the resurrection of Christ which secures the forgiveness of sins (13:37-39). The response by the Jews was enthusiastic as Paul returns the following week and "almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord" (13:44). Despite the positive response by the city, the leaders were jealous of the gathering and began to contradict Paul's message (13:45). Paul boldly confronts the Jewish leaders and says that it was God's plan for the Jews to hear the gospel first, but that it was meant to spread beyond them to the Gentiles (13:46-47). This boldness lead to many Gentiles becoming believers and the gospel spread throughout the region (13:48-49). Though they would be driven out by the religious leaders, they continued to the next city and "were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit" (13:52). So we pray an enthusiastic response to the gospel in our neighborhood, boldness to confront critics, and for continual filling of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 13:42-52
As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.

The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul,reviling him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of Godbe spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,

“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But theyshook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
— Acts 13:42-52