SOAP Study - August 5, 2020
30 Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit. 31 Pray that I will be rescued from those in Judea who refuse to obey God. Pray also that the believers there will be willing to accept the donation[a] I am taking to Jerusalem. 32 Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other.
33 And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen.[b]
PERSONAL SOAP STUDY
- What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
- What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
- How should this information impact your life?
- What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
- Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.
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STAFF SOAP STUDY
Paul had a grand and difficult calling: to be an evangelist to the Gentiles. It was a calling that at times was what best described as a struggle. Paul endured persecution, poverty, betrayal, rejection, failure, and so many other struggles. Yet, Paul’s faithfulness to this calling changed the world. All of us call ourselves Christians today because of his work and his words. Yet Paul realized that his calling could not be completed by himself alone. He needed help and partnership, and some of the most important and impactful help he received were prayers on his behalf. According to Paul, prayer is our way of supporting the calling of others. Prayer is our way of joining in the calling of another. Prayer is our way of participating and partnering in the work of God that God is doing in and through others.
As believers, we all have callings and giftings that lead us and send us to participate with God in the building of His Kingdom on Earth. We all have different gifts and callings, and none are more important than others. We each have a role in the Kingdom of God, and God uses all believers, no matter how young or old, rich or poor, male or female, and no matter your race. And only you can uniquely do what God has uniquely called you to do. One of the most powerful ways that God calls each of us to participate in the building of His Kingdom is praying for the calling and working of others, especially our leaders. Paul realizes the power of prayer and the impact it will have in his calling, his leadership, and his struggle. He realizes that his ministry is more likely to be fruitful when people partner in prayer with him. Who are you praying for and how are you praying for others and their calling and work in the Kingdom of God? Are you especially faithful in praying for your leaders in the church, both lay and clergy?
Lord Jesus, thank you for the calling you have place on my life and every life in the church. I especially want to pray for those right now you’ve called to lead the church, especially during this extraordinary season full of challenges and unknowns. It can be a struggle. Give them wisdom, give them courage, and give them perseverance to endure the struggle and find fruit in ministry. Give them peace and hope in you. Remind them how much you love them and give them assurance of their calling.