Fifty Days of Prayer | Day 24

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.

Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel.
— Acts 14:1-7