Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8.35
Justin Martyr’s comment (from our previous installment) on “not being concerned when men cut us off” was no mere rhetorical device. Because our “thoughts are not fixed on the present,” Christians have hope beyond this life, in a life and world to come of everlasting joy and peace.
We prepare for and seek that world to come in prayer.
In his Dialog with Trypho Justin went on to say the following:
Now it is evident that no one can terrify or subdue us who have believed in Jesus over all the world. For it is plain that, though beheaded, and crucified, and thrown to wild beasts, and chains, and fire, and all other kinds of torture, we do not give up our confession; but the more such things happen, the more do others and in larger numbers become faithful, and worshippers of God through the name of Jesus. For Just as if one should cut away the fruit-bearing parts of a vine, it grows up again, and yields other branches flourishing and fruitful; even so the same thing happens with us. For the vine planted by God and Christ the Savior is His people.
Such resilience and fruitfulness is the result of resolute faith and ready obedience on the part of those who know Jesus and enjoy the benefits and power of His Kingdom. These are people of vision, courage, witness, and self-denying love.
And these are people of prayer.
Justin’s generation persevered in the face of persecution in no small part because they understood the importance of prayer. He himself was no exception. Even more poignantly than by his words, Justin garnered his epithet (Martyr) when he was executed for refusing to worship Caesar.
It was with this mindset, sustained by prayer and faithful obedience, that the early church radically transformed a Roman society that was multi-cultural, thoroughly pagan, violent, and debauched.
Perhaps the same opportunity lies before us.
If we can become people of prayer and obedience, as Justin and his generation, we too might learn to fix our minds on things above, fearing not to be cut off from this life, but seeking more of the glorious life of then and there in the here and now of our everyday lives.
Ralph Lehman, Men’s Prayer Coordinator
T. M. Moore, Principal
Visit the website to watch the brief video on using our booklet, If Men Will Pray, to begin enlisting other men for a deeper, more satisfying, and more powerful life of prayer (click here).
Download “Men of the Church: A Solemn Call” for free by clicking this link. Make copies for all the men you know, and urge them to join you in this movement of Men at Prayer. Order your copy of Restore Us! and start your own regular Revival Prayer Group.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.