Faith Promise - Vision Week Day 02

Day 02 - Tuesday, November 21
Acts 16:6-34

On the surface, Paul’s encounter with Lydia seems to be a random, providential event.  However, there is far more intentionality in their meeting than we realize without knowing the Jewish traditions of the day.  Jews had a system for when a synagogue would be formed in cities outside of Israel.  If there were ten male heads of households who could be in regular attendance, then a synagogue would be formed.  If this was not possible, then a ‘place of prayer’ would be established under the open sky and near either a river or the sea.

Apparently Philippi did not have even ten Jewish families in the whole city.  Therefore Paul knew there would be a ‘place of prayer’ nearby and he and his companions were actively looking for that place in order to find any Jews from the city to share the gospel with them.  This is a pattern with Paul: he would always start with the Jewish population of the city, and then expand his ministry to Gentiles.  Paul didn’t know who he would encounter in that place of prayer, but he was intentionally looking for people to share his faith with.  From that humble beginning, the church of Philippi was established.

Reflection & Prayer
For this reading plan we will be using a tool to guide our study of Scripture that’s called the S.O.A.P. Method.  It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.  We recommend you use a journal with this method and write out your thoughts on each of these areas for each day of reading.  It doesn’t have to be long-winded and you don’t need a fancy journal.  But for anyone that has not journaled before, the benefit is that it often helps us focus and avoid distractions during prayer and Bible study.

S.O.A.P. Method

Scripture - Pick a verse or two that stood out to you and write it in your journal.  Be looking for a “Holy Spirit Highlight.”  What did you read and think “I needed to hear that” or felt like it was written just for you?

Observation - Now write some observations about the verse(s) or passage. What is this passage or verse saying? About God? About people? How is Jesus revealed in these verses?

Application - Now write a few sentences on how this passage applies to your life. Is there truth about God that you are to believe? A promise to receive? Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of something you need to do or stop doing in light of God’s truth?

Prayer - Now write out a prayer to God in response to this Scripture. This is a way to turn God’s Word to you back to Him. Be honest and express your heart to Him. God always listens and He delights in your prayers. (Psalm 34:15; Proverbs 15:8)