...while it was not of my own choice that I arrived in Ireland at that time when I was almost a lost soul, it was good thing for me, because I was reformed by the Lord and He prepared me to be today what was once remote from me; so that, whereas once I did not even consider my own salvation, now the salvation of others is my care and concern.
- Patrick, Confession (Irish, 5th century)
Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
- Romans 10.1
Here's a prayer you can add to your list of what you pray for the people around you each day - neighbors, colleagues and co-workers, friends and family, perfect strangers. If we can do nothing else to express our care and concern for the lost, at the very least we can pray that God would save them.
Patrick did not particularly care for the Irish. Indeed, he fled them and their country, and sought the safety and comfort of his own home in Britain. He'd had enough of the Irish and the slaving ways.
He'd had enough, but not God. After some time of being restored to his home and family, Patrick was shaken to the depths of his soul by a vision of God calling him - an unschooled, unordained, unskilled 22-year old - to go to Ireland and bring the Gospel to the people there.
How would we respond to such a call from the Lord? Would we, like Patrick, defy family and church leaders, give up everything we owned, seek out someone to teach and train us, and then head out among the lost to bear witness to Christ?
We have such a calling: Matthew 28.18-20; Acts 1.8. The fact that it has not come to us as dramatically as it did to Patrick does not make it any less valid.
The difference between Patrick and us is not his call to evangelize the lost. It's his care and concern for the lost souls of people. Do we really believe in hell? In the devil's deceitful ways? That people who do not know Jesus aren't just missing a good thing but are condemned?
Jesus said that He came to seek and to save the lost (Lk. 19.10). He also said that as the Father had sent Him, so He is sending us (Jn. 20.21). Patrick got that, and his faithfulness catalyzed a revival that restored life to much of Western Europe. Patrick got it.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Congress is back in session. Will we back them in prayer? ReVision tells us why we should.
Need a little help managing your time in this New Year? If so, then our January free download, "To Number Our Days," might be of help. Get your copy at the website right now, and share it with some friends.
And while you're there, don't miss Jess Slusher's lovely short story, "A Thin Place."
Our course, "The Writing Pastor," begins in just two weeks. Now is the time to sign up for this six-month webinar to help you make writing a more integral part of your own ministry for the Lord.
If you'd like some help in learning to pray and sing the psalms, visit our bookstore and order a copy of The Ailbe Psalter or Voices Together, two valuable resources than can give your spiritual life a lasting boost.