In anticipation of tomorrow’s great feast of our patron, the Conversion of Saint Paul, I would like to invite us all to increase our intercession in a practical way for the mission entrusted to us. As I reflect upon the significance of our calling in today’s culture, I sense it timely to recall the fundamental place in SPO’s mission held by our reliance upon God’s action. In the life of Saint Paul we see this so clearly. Literally, in a moment, God worked decisively to transform the life of the lead persecutor of the early Christians to the lead pioneer of the expansion of the early Church. (Acts 22:3-16)
This was a time of great fear and anxiety for the early Christians as Saul was on the way to arrest more of their brethren. I imagine on that day that the early Christians in Damascus were not just “going about their days” but instead were on their knees fasting and interceding with great vigor for God to work decisively to save them. And our God did not just save them but went far beyond that. He literally transformed the church in that moment by gifting the early Christians with a leader they never could have imagined - a leader whose example and teaching has touched each of our lives deeply 2000 years later!
I think that tomorrow’s special feast of our patron should be one of those kind of “on your knees” days for us – a day to increase our intercession and fasting as we ask God to work decisively in our midst and go far beyond what we can ask or imagine. There is so much to pray for right now around this theme – for each of us to grow more deeply in union with the Lord, for the young people that are praying about how to be generous with their lives next year after graduation, for guidance across the organization as we continue to grow, for the resources we need… Let’s pray for these, but I want to invite us to primarily intercede for “Saul-to-Paul conversions” to happen in our chapters especially in the context of the many Fan Into Flame and other retreats that are being run across the country in the next month.
I’d like to be bold by inviting us to all consider an extra 30 minutes of intercession tomorrow – beyond your normal routine. For me, I feel compelled to take this time at 2am as a vigil to welcome in this special feast, so feel free to join me if you are so inspired. Let’s storm the gates of heaven and beg for God to work in power and in might! Saint Paul, the Apostle, Pray for us!
Yours in Christ,
Andrew Kebe (Ohio Mission Center Director & National Program Director)