When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
Thoughts for Today:One of the women at my church is an incredibly prayerful person. Whenever we are together -- in a meeting, serving, or just talking -- we always seem to end up in prayer. I have to admit that my first answer to any problem usually does not start with prayer (although I'm getting better at this). I am a man of action, so I tend to look for something to do or fix; then I remember, "Oh yeah, I need to pray." However for Diane, prayer is not just the beginning point in everything, it is also the middle, and the end as well.
Our passage today doesn't tell us what Paul and the elders of Ephesus prayed about -- just how they did it -- on their knees. I'm sure they had great concern for Paul's safety and well-being because of what the Holy Spirit had revealed to him: verse 23, "I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me." And verse 25, "Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again." But the apprehension over Paul's leaving didn't stop there, the very health and prosperity of the ministry in Ephesus was also at risk: verse 29, "I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock." So what did they do? They got down on their knees and gave it all to the Lord!
Questions to Ponder:When do you pray? When all else fails? In prayer today, the Lord revealed to me that fullness comes from an emptying of ourselves first -- placing concerns, hopes, worries, plans, etc. at His feet. When we allow the pressure and stress of life to fill us -- we get locked up tight. We need to regularly empty ourselves by entrusting our burdens to the Lord -- then we are so much more open to the Lord's ministering, instruction and direction -- we become positioned to be filled by the Holy Spirit and experience fullness in Christ. What gets you on your knees, exasperation and frustration or something else? Will you approach the Lord in prayer right now? Will you make prayer the beginning, the middle, and the end in your life? How can you start today?