World Prayer Today

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Putting aside fear and putting our spiritual gifts to work

June 25, 2024

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. -2 Timothy 1:6-7

It takes courage to step out and exercise our spiritual gifts, but God calls us to put aside our fears and put them to use. That’s the encouragement Paul gave Timothy in the second letter to his young protégé. It’s also the message Ernesto in Guatemala received from God’s Word. Here’s his story:

“I am a layman. I have not had the opportunity to formally study the Word of God. My training has been Sunday school, which I have attended since I was very young (I am now 62 years old) and your programs. Even so, I am often asked to teach Bible studies or to be a Sunday school teacher. This causes me much nervousness and fear, because I understand how delicate it is to share the Word. But I have found the materials you teach to be an extremely valuable aid.

“When I have to teach a study, even if it is only one chapter of the Bible, I first download the Notes and Outlines of the book that you offer. This allows me to position myself in the historical moment of the passage and to see in broad strokes the context of the portion of Scripture. Then, I listen to your programs and use them to establish a guide to the key points I need to address. Finally, I research on the Internet and in books that I may have available, without departing from the guide your materials have established. I know that on the Internet there are many things that are not correct, but with the support you offer, I am confident I can discard that which is not doctrinally correct.

“I know I am not a great preacher, nor do I wish to be. I only long to be used by the Lord as He has gifted me and to do what He requires of me. For this reason, I am full of gratitude to you, because you allow me to serve Him with the confidence of not wandering in dangerously wrong directions.

“May the Lord bless you and allow you to go forward in this great ministry that God has placed in your hands. Many times one cannot measure the impact that a small effort can make in other people's lives. I cannot imagine the enormous impact your ministry has had on our world, but I do know there is someone who is not happy with it, so I pray for you—for protection and wisdom to keep going. Again, my thanks for helping me be faithful to what I am called. There is no greater joy than to fulfill the purposes He has for me. My words are not adequate, but I trust you will be rewarded by the Lord.”

Today thank God for the courage of our fellow listeners who faithfully serve Him when at first it seems overwhelming. Ask Him to give you the confidence to walk through the doors He is opening and, like Ernesto, may you find immeasurable joy as you serve Him with the gifts He has given you. 

Where is God in the middle of my pain? That’s the question a listener in El Salvador asks tomorrow. Join as our prayer tour through Central American and the Caribbean continues.