When God told Ananias to look for Saul, He said he would be praying. Sure enough, that is exactly what Ananias found him doing. I think Saul probably was asking God to forgive all the wrongs he had done. Can you imagine how hard it would be to accept God’s forgiveness if you not only had been a murderer, but also had deliberately hunted down the followers of Jesus Christ and brought about their premature deaths? How hard it would be to have that on your conscience!
But Saul prayed, and in the process discovered that intimacy could be found with this God whom he had only known in a distant way before. You can’t help but notice as you read through his epistles that prayer characterized Paul’s life. So many of them begin or end with beautiful prayers. It was Paul who told us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Paul also practiced what he preached. When he and Silas were thrown in prison for preaching the gospel, they prayed and sang praises to God at midnight, and the other prisoners heard them. Now, who would want to pray at a time like that? But instead of cursing the men who put them there, they were blessing God. No wonder the other prisoners were listening to them. This was the transformation that took place in the life of Paul. He was a man of prayer.
Are you a man or a woman of prayer? Does prayer characterize your life? It should. If you want live this Christian life effectively, then you need to learn how to pray.
Excerpted from "Characterized by Prayer" from Harvest Ministries (used by permission).