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Wholehearted Service and Prayer

Romans 1:9-10
God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember ou in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you. (NIV)

The Apostle Paul describes his attitude to serving God as 'wholehearted' because he had fully accepted the call of God on his life. He did not resent it at all, but was eager to preach the gospel to as many people as possible so that they could find peace with God through Jesus Christ. However, this was not a mechanical religious activity. It was highly relational; he was not just doing a job of communicating a message. Paul loved the people God wanted to reach, and loved serving God.

So Paul kept on praying for them. Because he loved them, he asked the Lord to open up the way for more gospel ministry. Although Paul's job was to explain the gospel, he knew he could not go until the Lord said it was the right time. He was a true servant, waiting for orders; but because of his relationship with God, he was also able to ask his Master for permission to serve more.

Without prayer, 'ministry' becomes 'what I can do for God' rather than working with Him and under His command. Prayerless ministry is a monster: it glorifies our abilities and meets our needs. Working for God, without a passionate love for people and a prayerful desire that He will work in their lives, is a cultish abuse. So if you have been called to serve - pray! Make sure that you are in a right relationship with the Lord and the people before you serve them in His Name. Wait for Him to give the green light and then be obedient and minister in the strength which God provides. Until then, pray wholeheartedly! Wholehearted ministry only comes from wholehearted prayer.

Holy Father, my Master in heaven. Thank You for calling me to Yourself and to Your service. Forgive me when I serve when it suits me and resist when it does not. I know that is not true service. Help me to grow in my love for You and those who You want me to serve. Help me to be wholehearted in prayer so that I will know what You want me to do and when You want me to do it; then help me to serve You whatever the cost. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams