And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 1 Cor. 15:30-32
Dear Lord Jesus, I have no clue what kind of wild beasts Paul battled in Ephesus—whether they were of the four-legged or two-legged variety, or if they were simply demons. Because of his love for you, conflict with evil was inevitable. Because of your love for him, death would be gain. Because of your resurrection, he knew his labors in the Lord were not in vain.
Jesus, this moves me to pray today for those who have taken on various “beastly” callings. I praise you for friends who work in the seedy, dark world of human trafficking. I thank you for these servants, many of whom endanger themselves every hour. Keep them resourced, wise, and filled with the hope of the gospel.
I pray for those who are serving in the vortex of the Ebola pandemic. Keep them safe and bless their labors, Lord Jesus. We long for the Day of no more disease of any variety.
I pray for pastors and churches, in the throws of conflicts, strife, and division. As the Prince of Peace, bring your peace to bear, Jesus. May the real issues be identified and dealt with in a way than commends the gospel.
I pray for missionaries, Young Life leaders, RUF campus directors, Christian counselors, social workers, etc—for, surely, these servants of yours engage in spiritual warfare on a daily basis. Renew their affections for you, and keep the gospel fresh to them. Grant them strength beyond their own and enough fruit to keep them encouraged, trusting, and hopeful.
Jesus, don’t let us sin against these faithful sisters and brothers, by failing to pray for them. We don’t understand all the mysteries of prayer; we just know you have taught us to pray. Shut the mouths of the beasts by the power of the gospel, for the glory of your name. So very Amen we pray, in your merciful and mighty name.