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Prayer Tip: The Conversion of Saul the Persecutor

November 5, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Acts 26:9-11 (CEB)

[Then Paul testified before King Agrippa saying,] “I really thought that I ought to oppose the name of Jesus the Nazarene in every way possible. And that’s exactly what I did in Jerusalem. I locked up many of God’s holy people in prison under the authority of the chief priests. When they were condemned to death, I voted against them. In one synagogue after another—indeed, in all the synagogues—I would often torture them, compelling them to slander God. My rage bordered on the hysterical as I pursued them, even to foreign cities.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

In this week’s GPS we begin to read and learn about the apostle Paul. We will look at Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, where he heard God’s voice speaking to him. Have you ever wished God would appear to you, or at least that you would hear a nice voice coming out of the clouds, speaking clear Midwestern-accented English? I know people who have had those kinds of dramatic experiences, but I can’t say that I have. God probably knows it would scare me to death!

I have, though, felt God’s presence and “heard” God’s words of comfort and guidance. Very often I’ve heard words that challenged and corrected me, in my heart and soul and mind. Not in a voice from the clouds, but sense of sure knowledge and understanding that can only come from God. And I can tell you one thing for certain—this never happened while I was talking.

God wants to hear our voices in prayer. That is what prayer is—our intimate conversation with God. We just need to make sure it’s a conversation and not a monologue. We need to become comfortable enough with God that we don’t feel like we have to fill the silence with our own words and thoughts. Sometimes, even though it is uncomfortable, we need to be quiet and wait for God’s part in the conversation. That will be where the communication happens.

As with any relationship, the way to reach that point of comfortable silence is to spend lots of time together in prayer. It takes practice. That is why God calls us to frequent, even constant prayer. We just need to be sure we aren’t doing all the talking.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you
great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. Isaiah 58:9

Prayer

Lord, thank you for welcoming me to bring whatever concerns me–praise, pleading, pleasure or pain–before you in prayer. But teach me, too, how to listen for your quiet inner voice to console, correct and connect with me. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Jennifer Creagar

Jennifer Creagar

This week's prayer tip is by Jennifer Creagar, the Community Assistance Coordination Director in Resurrection's Congregational Care Ministry. She is married and loves spending time with her family, and she enjoys writing and photography.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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