Prayer: Holy God, set our feet upon Your path of love and righteousness. Enable our legs to carry us to do the work in this world that You would have us do. Give wisdom to our minds so that with great enthusiasm we share Your love with others we meet this day. Amen.
Read Acts 9: 1 – 9
This is the story of Saul’s conversion. It is an extremely powerful story of God breaking into a religious person’s life and saying, “you are on the wrong path friend”. Saul was an extremely religious man who began persecuting those who believed in Christ.
As Saul is nearing Damascus, a suddenly light from heaven flashes around him. Out of the light comes a voice saying to Saul, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” Saul responds, “Who are you?” The voice from the light replies, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do”.
Wow. Powerful words. Go into the city and you will be told what you must do. When we read of the conversion of Saul, we frequently forget that he was a devote and religious man. Yet he had gotten onto the wrong path of his religious conviction. He began persecuting others who were not like him. When he was led into Damascus by his friends, he was blind. And for three days he did not eat or drink anything. Saul did not eat or drink anything because he was blind but because he was discerning God’s will through prayer and fasting. And during those three days Saul would have spent much time in prayer asking God what sin he had committed to become blind. (Remember in those days that blindness was considered a form of consequence for a sin that the person or their family had committed).
Today, does our Church persecute those who live in our Church neighbourhood who are not like us? Do our Church neighbours just view those in the congregation as those people who take up parking spaces on a Sunday morning? How do we extend the love of God to those in the neighbourhood of our Church who are not of our faith?
Go into the city and you will be told what you must do. We too are told to go into the city…. God has told us to work with those in our city who need help. But in order to do the work of God we must wait and spent time in prayer to listen to God’s voice. Together as a worshipping community, through prayer, we come together to do the work of God for all God’s people. When was the last time your Church got together to pray for the people living in the neighbourhood?
Prayer: Great God, we come before You today waiting to be told what we must do to further Your kingdom. As we read Your Holy Word, inspire within us a burning passion to discern Your work that is still needed to be done here on earth. If we are to sit and pray, then let us rejoice in this work. If we are to stand and help others, then let us rejoice in this work. If we are to walk and travel to share Your Good News, then let us rejoice in this work. All for Your love’s sake. Amen.