07/26/19 Kneeling on the Beach

READING: Job 15-17, Acts 21:1-25

I love the picture in today’s reading of Paul, the believers, and their families praying on the beach as the apostle prepared to leave Tyre: “All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray” (Acts 21:5). Paul’s future in Jerusalem was an ominous one, and these “good-byes” must have been emotionally gut-wrenching. It’s likely the believers expected to never see Paul again, and even the children were a part of this farewell scene. Paul was willing to go to Jerusalem and die for the sake of Christ, but the anguish of his friends would have been nonetheless real.

Here’s what I think about, though, as I read this text. If indeed this were the last time the brothers and sisters saw Paul, they would have remembered this episode of his kneeling on the beach with them. In their minds would have been planted the farewell memory of Paul’s praying.

I wonder if others would remember us—beginning with me—as a praying people. How likely is it that their last memory of us would be we on our knees before the Father? People who pray this way at the end are usually the same people for whom prayer is deeply embedded into their daily, present-tense spiritual walk today.

PRAYER: “Father, bring me to the place where prayer is a natural part of my life.”   

TOMORROW’S READING:  Job 18-20, Acts 21:26-22:5

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