Every year for the past couple of years I have prayed for the Lord to give me a word for the year.
This year He gave me the word: BOLDNESS.
For those of you who don't know me very well, I can be timid, introverted and at times down right shy.
Extroversion is something I have had to work at my whole life. I make myself be extroverted.
Seriously, I have prayed often for the Lord to help me be friendly. And when I ask, He answers. So, BOLDNESS is not in my natural makeup.
When I think of the BOLDEST person in the Bible, the apostle Paul stands tall above all. Tall Paul. I love a good rhyme!
Often as I read about Paul in the Bible and how bold he was in his faith, I have thought, "Wow! I would love to be bold like Paul." Perhaps you have thought that as well.
A couple of weeks ago I was looking over my scripture cards for speaking. (I have scripture cards that I carry with me when speaking to pray over, to encourage me to be bold and confident in my speaking.)
I was at the She Speaks Conference and my roomie, Melissa Sherlin, was in the room with me. I showed her my cards and told her their purpose. One of the verses was from Ephesians.
"[Pray] for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly as I ought to speak." Ephesians 6:19-20
All of a sudden, my roommate and I had an epiphany! Paul. Asked. People. To. Pray. For. Him.
Paul, amazing and tall Paul, needed prayer for boldness.
So encouraging. However, when God is wanting to make a point, He usually says it more than once.
The next morning, Melissa and I headed down for breakfast, full of enthusiasm and anticipation for the day.
On every table setting, there was a small scroll. Each scroll contained a scripture. Each one was unique and prayed over to be an individualized word for the person who opened its treasure inside.
I opened the scroll and immediately was overwhelmed with God's love and presence.
Inside the scroll was this verse:
"Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, 'Do not be afraid, keep on speaking, do not be silent.'"Acts 18:9
The Lord spoke to Paul in a vision telling him to not be afraid and to keep on speaking. The Lord wouldn't have given Paul a vision if Paul didn't need encouragement to be bold.
What I believe the Lord was saying to me through these verses was that yes, Paul was bold. However, perhaps Paul also needed encouragement and prayer to be bold. Perhaps there were times when Paul even struggled with boldness.
I don't know about you, but that encourages me beyond words. Tall Paul needed prayer and a vision from the Lord and the Lord gave Paul boldness to carry out His mission and accomplish His good work. I know the Lord will do the same for me.
Even though I may be small in stature, I can be tall (like Paul) in my boldness and faith. Just call me Tall Sue. (I know it doesn't rhyme, but it still works. :) )