Acts chapter 22, verse four. Paul is giving a defense of his life and his conversion before a group of people. He says in verse four, “I persecuted this way …” talking about Christians … “I persecuted this way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women as the high priest and the whole council of elders can bear me as witness.” So, basically, here’s Paul talking about how he had persecuted Christians all the way to the death. How he had bound them and delivered them to prison, men and women.
I read these verses, and then you go on and you see Paul begin to share how Christ met him, and changed his life, and saved him, and obviously has now used him to proclaim the gospel in a way that now he’s being threatened with imprisonment and worse in his life.
Followers of Christ should pray that God would save those who persecute the church.
I just think today about the number of people who are persecuting Christians in the world. I think about even those who are leading out in the persecution of Christians in different countries, in different parts of the world. Acts 22, verse four, just provokes me to pray for Paul-like conversion in some of those persecutors, in some of those lead persecutors.
So, in the light of Acts 22:4, I want us just to pray specifically that God might do a Paul-like work in some persecutors’ hearts today. God, we pray, we pray right now. We know that there are people who are persecuting our brothers and sisters in Christ right now, who are leading out in their persecution, who are persecuting them all the way to the death. We know there are government leaders who are binding and delivering Christians to prison, both men and women. We know that there are terrorists in different ways who are working actively for the death of Christians, for the imprisonment of Christians, threatening our brothers and sisters right now.
So, God, we pray, we plead, we ask together right now that you would save one of them, some of them, today, this week. God, would you do this in your grace and in your mercy? Would you take those who are persecuting followers of Christ and turn them into followers of Christ? God, I pray, we pray together right now, for the salvation of terrorists, for the salvation of those who are leading out in the persecution of believers. We pray that you would bring about Paul-like conversions so that those who are persecuting Christians would turn into those who are proclaiming Christ. That you would do this, oh God, by your love and your mercy and for your glory, we pray these things in Jesus name. Amen.