Praying for Church Planting through the Book of Acts
On this second stop of this first missionary journey Paul comes to the city of Iconium (modern day Konya, Turkey). His pattern was always to preach in the synagogues first. So, he enters the synagogue and begins to teach "in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed" (14:1). Paul understood those that he was speaking to and tailored his speech to be meaningful, faithful, and relevant. One of the most important things that we can do in being a missionary to our neighborhood is learning the "dialect". So, we pray for insight and the ability to speak to our neighbors in a meaningful, faithful way that is also relevant.
In their previous city (Pisidian Antioch) they were pushed out by a coalition of unbelieving Jews. This led them to Iconium. Paul and Barnabas experience resistance here as well, but it is also the beginning of a shift. We're told that "the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers" (14:2). This coalition of unbelief was comprised of the religious (Jews) and the pagan (Greeks/Gentiles). Paul's response was to remain "for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord" (14:3a). The Lord honors this faithfulness by "granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands" (14:3b). So, we pray for boldness despite any coalition of resistance and ask the Lord to grant his power to be seen through our faithfulness.