Fifty Days of Prayer | Day 13

Fifty Days of Prayer | Day 13

Praying for Church Planting through the Book of Acts

The greatest enemy of the early church was a man named Saul. He oversaw the murder of Stephen (8:1). But, he wasn't content with the death of one man. Saul was "breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord" (9:1). After gaining permission from the high priest he left Jerusalem to imprison Christians in Damascus. But, the Lord wouldn't allow it. While on his way he was blinded and knocked off his horse by "a light from heaven [that] flashed around him" (9:3). Then Jesus spoke to him and said, "why are you persecuting me?" (9:4) He had to be led by the hand into the nearest town. There he laid for three days, blind. So, we pray for those most vocal and active opponents of the church to be converted miraculously by Christ.

Then Jesus spoke to a man named Ananias. He was directed to the house where Saul had been staying. Jesus tells Ananias to lay hands on Saul so that he will get his sight back. Understandably he resists. It was no secret that Saul had been intent on destroying the church. But Jesus tells him, "he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel" (9:15). So, Ananias went. Ananias prayed. Saul regained his sight and was baptized. So, we pray that God would use these former enemies of his church to reach into new groups of people in Houston, into the city and state government, and into those who are religious but don't know God.

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.
— Acts 9:1-19