Text: Acts 9:10-12
Now these three things, we could call negative things. Of course they are not negative when we have to face them, they are very positive matters. But when we come to the fourth thing, we move over a bit to another side; and I am sure that this first time of prayer in the case of Paul was a time of deep worship. What does worship come out from? What is it that leads us to worship? What is the true nature and spirit of worship? Is it not a deep unspeakable gratitude for the grace of God?! We only worship in the measure in which we appreciate the grace of God. I am sure that this man on his knees during that time was just pouring out his heart with gratitude for the mercy of God. Realizing what kind of a man he was, realizing his guiltiness, and what an enemy of Christ his nature had been, and yet that risen, persecuted Lord had come down to save such a man as he was, that must have made Paul pour out his heart in the deepest gratitude for the grace and mercy of God. You remember that a favorite way to Paul of opening his letters was with three words: “Grace, mercy, and peace, be unto you.” That was the foundation of everything for Paul. Wonderful grace, grace that could never be explained; boundless mercy; and peace with God. That was surely the consciousness of this man during his prayer. It was the prayer of deep worship for the grace of God, and that must have a place in all true prayer.
Now, you notice that given these four things, there is an open way for the Lord to come in. The Lord had His eye upon that man in that room as he was praying. He knew what Saul of Tarsus was doing. He said to Ananias, “Behold, he prayeth.“ And the Lord knew what he was praying about. And He knew that these four things made up that prayer. THEY OPEN A WAY FOR THE LORD. So the Lord said to Ananias, “Go to a certain house in a certain street, to this man, Saul of Tarsus. That man is praying. Ananias, you go in and lay your hands on him, that he may receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” The Lord had an open way to meet that man. First of all, to open his blind eyes. They were physically blind, but you may be sure that he got a spiritual eye-opening at that time. If Saul of Tarsus was still under a heavy cloud as he knelt there in prayer, if there was still any darkness over his mind, when Ananias put his hands on his head, and said, “Brother Saul,” all the darkness went; and his heart was filled with the Light of heaven.
Then, secondly, Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is called the Seal of our Redemption. “We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). We are sealed with the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). You know what that means in business. If your seal is upon any goods, you have a right to claim them. You can go anywhere and say, “That is mine, I take possession of it.” In the same way, the Holy Spirit is the Seal of God, the Seal of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Seal of that which belongs to Christ, and He can claim it at any time. It is a great thing to have the Seal of the Lord upon our lives.
Now we know that to receive the Holy Spirit is to receive our equipment for our life’s work; because Ananias said this unto Saul (later called Paul). And he said, “The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth. For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard” (Acts 22:14,15).
These three things happened when Ananias put his hands on the head of Saul, and used that wonderful word, “Brother” Saul. That was a triumph of grace! But the Lord had an open way to come into that life, and it was because of those four things that we have mentioned which composed his prayer. This may help us a little in our time of prayer, not only for tonight, but for all times of prayer. If this is the way, the heart way of our praying, the Lord will have a clear way with us.