I Prayed have prayed
Lord, help us remember there's a time for everything, including both defending truth and preaching Your love to needy hearts.

Tired of the endless debates? Weary of all the back and forth between differing views? Of the emotional energy drained as you finish up that latest attempt to convince someone of your point of view?

If you are, then you are like many people in this opinionated age.

Have you taken your place on the wall?

 

During New Testament times, there was a place in Athens, Greece, that was like a live Twitter platform: the Areopagus. At the Areopagus, just across the valley from the Acropolis, professional debaters gathered every day to discuss the latest philosophies and trending thoughts. Many points of view were offered, but during the first century, there were the Epicureans and the Stoics: those who believed life’s meaning was found in pursuing pleasure, and those who believed instead that the meaning was found in denying pleasure — respectively.

Two ends of the spectrum … kind of like today.

The result of Paul’s gospel preached that day to the crowd of professional debaters at this open-air Twitter feed were — at minimum — two people whose names are recorded in Acts 17: Damaris, a high-class call girl (obviously from the Epicurean camp), and Dionysius, a respected Stoic philosopher.

Thus, Paul’s message was received by people from each end of the political and philosophical spectrum.

Damaris fades quickly into history, but Dionysius is a different story. His interaction with Paul recalls his memory of the day Jesus was crucified. The world went dark with a sudden solar eclipse, and Dionysius remembers that day; though he was in Athens, he recounts how much awe he felt, and now, with Paul’s preaching, it all makes sense.

After his conversion, Dionysius became friends with many of the New Testament writers and disciples. He was said to have befriended Mary, the mother of Jesus, and he even attended her funeral.

He was one of the first New Testament missionaries, with a ministry that may have reached as far as Paris.

Dionysius went from being a professional debater on the far right of the spectrum, to becoming a martyr willing to offer his life for the Lord, moved by a simple message recorded in the book of Acts:

 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17: 24–27 NIV).

This simple message contains these simple points:

  1. God made the world;
  2. God gives us breath;
  3. God makes the nations;
  4. God appoints our time on earth;
  5. God sets our boundaries.

Paul preaches these five points so that we might perhaps reach out for God.

Debates on the issues are certainly important, especially when they are debated at the proper time. But ultimately, the people we are trying to convince have a “God-shaped hole in the center of their hearts” — and they are wanting to know that there is a Creator Who cares for them and has a plan for their lives.

This message from Paul is a good reminder to us.

How are you praying for the deepest heart needs of those around you in these argumentative times? Share below.

Photo by Enric Domas on Unsplash.

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George Leaf
November 1, 2022

Father, By your word, the very abundance of your heart was everything that was made made. You Father knew the knitting of the DNA string that enabled every living unique human being. You know the very gifting you placed within them to bless the earth they walked while they live. Give us the anointing to pray for those that are enticed into the slavery of deception. Give us words of love for them, and the word of truth. Words that piece their darkness with hope. For telling those who are sick unto death they are well is truly evil itself. Anoint our hearts with that special love to speak yourctruth as Jesus spoke to the woman at the well. Truth without condemnation. That the kingdom of God was at hand. The offer Of salvation grace and mercy stands. It stands in righteousness. Salvation is personal, and a free choice, chose life.

1
Sandra S Butler
October 25, 2022

From a golden oldie in the realm of hymns: “Revive us again, fill each heart with Thy love; may our souls be rekindled with fire from above. Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Hallelujah! Amen! Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Revive us again.”

1
Eilene Norman
October 19, 2022

I pray that the American people will open their hearts and minds up to God Almighty and stop just handing over their God given rights and power to others who have wormed their way into positions of power and authority. It’s time to stand up like Christian women and men and take back what God has given us. We must get on our knees before Almighty God and seek His forgiveness for OUR sins first and then seek His help in restoring our nation as one nation under God indivisible and with justice for all.

16
Victoria Swanson
October 18, 2022

I pray the spirit of truth would fall on this nation in such a mighty way. The people will no longer be blinded but that blinders would be removed from their eyes and their hearts are open to hear truth. Jesus said if you know the truth the truth will set you free.

27
Paul Cirillo
October 18, 2022

I am praying that God will soften peoples’ hearts to be receptive to Him, to seek him. I remind myself NOT to pray for mercy, because God is ALREADY merciful, ready at the drop of a hat to forgive penitent sinners who humble themselves. In all our present troubles, I do not see large numbers of people seeking God; even when you read the headlines, the top issue on peoples’ minds is the economy, not God, not salvation. That is why I petition God to give grace to people so they will humble themselves and realize their great spiritual need.

23
ML
October 18, 2022

In the KJV it says “ So Paul departed from among them ( after speaking to the Athenians on Mars Hill)”….” Howbeit certain men CLAVE unto him (Paul), and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them”. Acts 17:34

It is hardly fair to say that “ Damaris , ( a high classed call girl)…fades quickly into history., but that Dionysius has a different story “. What the account says is that she was among those who CLAVE (Greek Word kollao—to glue, to stick, cleave, join self, keep company) unto Paul and BELIEVED.
What a good report, even if we know no more of her history.

10
Silvi & Cody
October 18, 2022

POWERFUL MESSAGE !

LORD we thank you for YOUR Mighty Man of GOD. Dave Kubal.

Called.
Appointed
Anointed
FIRM
WISDOM Filled Full
H S lead
Unique
Bold
Courageous
Creative
Loving
Out of the box
Beautiful
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.

Honor to know of you.
I. F. A !♡

BLESS YOU

24/7
PA
S&C

14
Sheryl Atkinson
October 18, 2022

I realize that only Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can change the hearts of people. So, I pray that God would replace people’s hearts of stone for hearts of flesh, and that He would open the eyes of their hearts to see the TRUTH, and that when all the loud voices are vying for their attention, that He would speak softly to their heart of hearts and draw them to Him. Knowing that God reigns above every kingdom and over every heart, I pray too that God would remove the blinders from their eyes, the blinders caused by deception from the Enemy, and that God would speak TRUTH (through someone or something) that would cause a restlessness in their spirit to seek the TRUTH. I would even pray that God would use whatever means necessary to get their attention, lest they spend eternity separated from Him.

36
Richard Kent
October 18, 2022

Few are moved to change course when by our own efforts we drive home our points and opinions. We can only influence for eternal life when by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we allow Him to give the words and do the deeds. “We do not war according to the Flesh….” Only when we walk and talk by the power of God and His Spirit. We have no room for human efforts and pride. “Not by might, but by My Spirit…”

26
Trudee
October 18, 2022

Father, may we never lose sight of the main purpose for which you have left your church in the world and that to share the good news is Jesus with those who cross our paths. While we rejoice that we know the ultimate end of this battle is your victory, those who do not know Jesus are headed for a very different destination. Let us be salt and light in this dark and decaying world, just as you intended.

28
Rebecca
October 18, 2022

Lord help your children to spread Your goodness to the nation.

15
Brian lynch
October 18, 2022

Lord Jesus, You alone know the depths of our hearts. You know our needs. Please give us Holy Spirit guidance and wisdom to be able to truly help those around us with unmet spiritual needs. In Jesus’ name.

41
Barbara Janicki
October 18, 2022

thank you for sharing this wise perspective, connecting events in the past to our present, reminding us there truly is “nothing new under the sun.” Now, as then, people need a relationship not a religion, a person more than a cause. They need to meet the person of Jesus Christ. But now, as then, it is a tightrope we walk between truth and grace, “rightly dividing the word of truth.” I pray that I will not seek to win a debate but rather provide an introduction to the God of the universe who loves each of us so faithfully, so completely, because we are the work of His hands. post “the tightrope” at http://www.mtothe5th.wordpress.com

35
Becca Mease
October 18, 2022

This is a great message, but I think it is wise to remember that Jesus told his disciples to shake the dust off their feet from the villages that did not want to hear their message. In other words, don’t engage in debates with people who won’t listen with open minds. Don’t cast pearls before swine. I don’t say this without charity, but because endless debating that ends up in anger or hurt feelings does no one any good. Pray for your enemies, but walk away when needed.

30
keith currie
October 18, 2022

Thank you for sharing some historical evidence regarding Dionysius, one philosopher / judge who came to faith in Christ. I love Paul’s message regarding the “Unknown God” spotted on an altar as they walked up to the Areopagus to hear what Paul had to say. O that I may be eager and led by the Holy Spirit to share the life changing message of the Gospel.

22
Maria Fillyaw
October 18, 2022

I pray in the name of Jesus that we, God’s people will stand firm and faithful to Him in a kind way towards others. May our debate be kind, but firm in the faith in Jesus Christ.

49
Pamela C.
October 18, 2022

Thank you for sharing what the Holy Spirit gave you. Best thing I have read in a long time. Encouraging, truthful, inspiring, and Biblical. Thank you.

41

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