If Paul was left to minister according to his own understanding, I doubt he would have been as fruitful as he was. Paul was convinced that if anybody could reach his fellow Jews, it was he. After all he had the top notch Rabbinic Scholar as his mentor. Nobody could have fit the Orthodox mold more than Paul.
Yet, Jesus had other plans for Paul as far as ministry was concerned. It was no accident that Paul was a man of prayer; so much so that he could call “God to the stand” as a witness to his prayer life. In his prayer closet, Jesus revealed to Paul His purpose for him in ministry.
How vital it is for us to remember the exhortation to seek the Lord’s face in prayer. It is in seeking the Lord, that we find His will for our lives. It is in seeking the Lord that we obtain the mind of the Spirit. Jesus is still building His Church, so we must continue to seek His face.
Be careful not to contend with the One without whom we can do nothing. We are most effective when God’s ability flows through our availability to enact His eternal plans and purposes. The most important ingredient in prayer is listening for and attending to the Lord’s voice.