Before you begin, take a few moments to quiet your mind and prepare your heart to receive God’s Word. Read the following passage at least twice, and then pray through the points below.
7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul is content with all these things for the sake of Christ. He recognizes that his human weakness is actually real, enduring strength through Christ. Do you see weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities in the same way Paul does, as opportunities to testify to Christ's strength in your life? Take a few moments to reflect on your answer. Then pray that God would help you see these things as opportunities for His strength to be made perfect in you as a testimony to Him.
It is countercultural to boast of our weaknesses. In reality, most of us do everything we can to hide our weaknesses or to downplay them. But the Lord tells Paul that it is good he is weak, because Christ's power is made perfect through our weaknesses (12:9). Ask God to make us a people who are not afraid to show our weaknesses, that Christ's power would be made perfect in us. Pray that the nations would see Christ's power and not our own strength, that they may know our great God and glorify Him.
Pray that those who go to the nations would not fear their weaknesses or see them as disqualifiactions to carry the good news of the gospel. Pray that they would see weakness and hardship as opportunities to experience the sufficiency of God's grace. Pray that both goers and senders would earnestly desire God's power to be made perfect through them.