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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

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Acts 17:15, 22—18:1
Psalm 148:1-2, 11-14
John 16:12-15

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prayer or failure

"When they heard about the raising of the dead, some sneered." —Acts 17:32

"With power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great respect was paid to them all" (Acts 4:33). Paul, the least of the apostles (1 Cor 15:9), also witnessed with power for the risen Christ except when he preached at Athens. There, while a few believed, others sneered at Paul (Acts 17:32), called him a "magpie" (Acts 17:18), and refused to take him seriously. At Athens, Paul seemed to have lost his power, his anointing from the Spirit.

Like Paul, we may see less power in our prayer, ministry, marriage, family, or witnessing. We're at the Athens in our lives. Others don't seem to take our Christian lives seriously. We feel like failures. We need the Spirit fanned into flame in our lives (2 Tm 1:6).

Friday, we begin nine days of prayer, just as did the disciples at the first Christian Pentecost. We must pray for our Confirmations to be renewed. We must stifle the flesh and be stirred up in the Spirit, instead of the opposite (Gal 5:17). If we don't pray to receive a new Pentecost now, we will continue in the futility of Athens. Mary, the other saints, and the angels are praying for us to receive the Holy Spirit. Let's join them and pray in these next days as never before. Jesus promises: "If you, with all your sins, know how to give your children good things, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him" (Lk 11:13). Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Jesus, teach me to pray (see Lk 11:1) for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Promise:  "When He comes, however, being the Spirit of truth, He will guide you to all truth." —Jn 16:13

Praise:  Although Patrick had been living in the Spirit for years, he prayed for a new outpouring and received new graces to minister in holiness and power.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015

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