#carmelprays – Acts 9:1-25
Opening Song: The Power Of The Cross
Read Scripture: Acts 9:1-25
The road to Damascus is a significant and stunning turning point, not just for Saul (eventually named Paul) as an individual, but for all of Christianity as well. Here, the most hostile persecutor of the early church who breathed murderous threats against the Lord Jesus’ disciples became her most ardent promoter. Two brief reflections on the men God chose to use for His purposes:
- Saul, a man radically transformed by the sovereign grace of God. On his journey to persecute more Christians in Damascus, the resurrected, glorified Jesus personally approaches Saul, makes Himself known, confronts Saul about his sins and leaves Saul a blind convert (v1-9). After Saul recovers his sight and is baptised by fellow believer Ananias (see point 2 below), Saul immediately acts on his call to proclaim Jesus as the Son of God in Damascus and suffers for the Gospel – the opposite of what he had intended to do! (v17-25) Saul’s transformation shows us that God’s power is able to redeem even His most stubborn enemies and use them to advance His kingdom. There is no sinner too far from God’s grace. Is there someone that you know who needs to encounter the transforming grace of God? Would you continue to pray faithfully for that person?
- Ananias, a man obedient to God’s command to minister to Saul. It is useful to note that community played a role in Saul’s conversion. When Saul was fasting in Damascus, the Lord instructed the responsive Ananias in a vision to restore Saul’s sight (v10-12). Despite his initial hesitancy, Ananias obeyed by healing and baptising Saul whom he recognised as a Christian brother (v13-19). In doing so, Ananias demonstrates trust in God’s will and shows us how the church could support and incorporate new believers into the community. Is God leading you to do something specific that might play a role in another person’s conversion? Would you trust God and respond obediently?
Pray in Response
Our Father in Heaven, thank You for shining Your light into my life and saving me out of darkness through the risen Christ. Because Jesus died and paid for my sins, I am no longer an enemy of God. Because Jesus is risen, I can leave my life of sin behind to live freely and powerfully as a child of God. Everything has changed.
I pray that those who have yet to encounter Christ would also experience Him in a powerful and transformative way. Show me how to lovingly reach out to them and incorporate them into the body of believers. [Spend some time now to pray for the person(s) God brings to mind.]
Teach me to be sensitive to Your Spirit’s promptings, and to make myself open and available when You call on me. I deeply desire to trust You and let Your will to be done in my ransomed life.
I pray all this in the powerful name of Christ. Amen.
Response Song: You Alone Can Rescue
By Anonymous Carmelite