Speaking to the Soul – Monday November 15

A short reading and prayers for today

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him,“Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.”
Acts 18:9-10 NLT

Throughout the Bible we hear God telling people not to be afraid. When God made a covenant with Abram, the father of the nation of Israel, he spoke to him in a vision and said, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” (Genesis 15.1) Later, we meet Joshua after the death of Moses and God said to him “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1.9) Much later, we hear the angel telling a young girl called Mary that she should not be afraid when she is told that she will bear the Son of God.

The command not to be afraid indicates how damaging fear can be. God knows that we cannot be effective in serving him unless we overcome the problem of fear. Our verses today come at a time when the apostle Paul had had a great deal of experience of living for God. He had faced many struggles and much intense opposition, but God knew that fear was still an issue and so he spoke to him in a vision to give him assurance. God didn’t merely tell him not to fear but reminded him that he would always be with him. He also gave him the encouragement that there were in that busy, cosmopolitan city people who belonged to him. Paul wouldn’t be alone as he ministered in that famously immoral city.

Fear takes many forms, and it can creep up on us at any time. It may be a fear of what other people think of us, a fear of failure, loss, ill health or death. Just because you are normally a confident person doesn’t mean that you are impervious to fear. The answer is that we need to look to God and hand over our fears to him, reminding ourselves that he is with us and will never leave us.


What are you most fearful of at the moment? What are you doing with that fear?


Loving Father, thank you that you understand us so well and that you are able to give us the strength to face up to any fears. Amen
Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
Grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear in power and great glory,
we may be made like him
in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.