The Two Oars

The Two Oars

“Therefore I also , after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus
and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you,
making mention of you in my prayers”
– Ephesians 1:15-16 –

Behind Paul’s tireless energy as an apostle, missionary, pastor, and theologian, there was an extraordinary life of prayer. Paul began his ministry by praying and ended it by praying. His Christian experience was essentially an act of paryer. For him prayer and mission always go together. Gabriel Cesano tells in this way in the November 2019, South American Spanish edition of a magazine:

  1. Prayer as recognition of the Sovereign God. For Paul, it was impossible to conceive of any human activity separated from God, for “all things are from Him, for Him, and for Him (see Rom. 11:36).
  2. Prayer as a response from the creature. For Paul, it established a permanent channel of communication with God.
  3. Prayer as an action of thanksgiving for salvation. Paul feels so unworthy of salvation, because he considers himself the “chief of sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15), that his life is a continuous prayer. “Pray without ceasing” he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
  4. Prayer as an indispensable ally for service. For Paul, prayer was essential for evangelization. It is not the preacher, but God who supernaturally intervenes through the call of the Spirit and justifies those who believe. Paul asked for prayer so that God would open the doors for the gospel (2 Cor. 2:12). In the intercessory prayers the apostle requests of his congregations and leaders, the dominant theme is his concern for the mission.
  5. The role of the mind during prayer. The apostle unites prayer with the knowledge of God and faith. Prayer arises from an intelligent or rational faith that is based on the certainty that God is not a stranger, but has revealed Himself in Creation, in history, in Christ, and in the Scriptures. Therefore, he counsels to “pray with the spirit,” but also “with the understanding” (1 Cor. 14:15).

In a certain place, the owner of a boat had two words written on his oars. In one oar it said “Pray” and in the other “Work.” One day, a passenger mocked his oars. “Working is enough,” he said. Then the boat owner started using only one oar. After circling without getting anywhere, the passenger understood the lesson.

Paul lived and taught how to live by rowing with both oars.
If we want to reach the safe harbor soon,
we need to both pray and work.
Do not go around in circles without getting anywhere.

Be blessed…