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October 18 | 2 Cor. 12:7-10


PRAYER PRACTICE


Spoken Prayer: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.

 

DAILY READING:


For more help use this Bible Study method

 

REFLECTION


My Grace Is Sufficient

by Pr. Dave Mann


This passage is a favorite of many. Perhaps that is because we can identify with people who are honest about their challenges in life. The Apostle Paul accomplished so many great and glorious things in his life, and yet he still had difficulties. Not every prayer uttered by Paul did the Lord answer the way Paul wanted. He prayed three times for the Lord to remove this thorn, but the Lord had answered with a different plan.


The question comes to mind, “What was this thorn in the flesh that Paul had?” There is indeed no end to the speculations. Commentators have imagined all manner of diseases and infirmities. Here are the two which are the most commonly proposed.


Weak speaking ability or a speech impediment -- It is hard to imagine the Apostle Paul not being able to communicate well or that he stuttered, but in 2 Corinthians 10:10, he echoes back to the Corinthians their critique of his speaking ability. “His speech is of no account!”

Poor eyesight – You recall, of course, that Paul was blinded by a great light during his conversion experience. That blindness lasted three days. And though Paul was healed of the blindness through the prayer of Ananias, some have theorized that there were linger effects. In Galatians 6:11, Paul comments on his handwriting style which was marked by large letters.

But these are just theories, nothing definitive. We will probably never know this side of heaven the specific identity of Paul’s thorn in the flesh. And I think it a good thing that we don’t know. As it is, each of us can imagine the Apostle being plagued by something similar to our own challenges. The Holy Spirit can create a bridge between Paul and us, and also the One who was sufficient for Paul can be sufficient for us as well. We can easily consider, “If Paul needed the grace of God, how much more do I need it? If Paul could be made strong in his weakness, then God can do a similar work in me.”


Here can be our motto:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…For when I am weak then I am strong.

 

Before you pray, identify your thorn in the flesh. Lord God, Healer, Sanctifier, do your work in me that I may behold your healing power when you so choose. Let me also experience your sanctifying power as I discover that your grace is sufficient to sustain me during life’s difficulties. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



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