A True Conversion’s Witness

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prays – Acts 9:11

These words are the hallmark of genuine conversion. “Behold, he prayeth” is a surer witness of a man’s conversion than, “Behold, he singeth, or, readeth the Scripture, or, preacheth.” These things may be admirably done by men who are not regenerate; but if a man really prays, we may know that he has passed from death unto life. Prayer is the autograph of the Holy Ghost upon the renewed heart. Hence the Lord gave to Ananias his sure indication that Saul of Tarsus was a converted man, by saying to him, “Behold, he prayeth.” In Saul’s case, this indication was very specially remarkable: “Behold, he prayeth” had a peculiar meaning in relation to this converted Pharisee. It was thought a great wonder that King Saul, of the Old Testament, prophesied. So unexpected and singular was the event that it became a proverb: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” But it was an equal marvel when this more modern Saul was seen to pray. Is Saul of Tarsus among those who pray to Jesus for mercy? The Lord from heaven Himself mentions it as a prodigy, he points to it as a thing to be beheld and wondered at, for He says to His servant Ananias, “Behold, he prayeth.”… This is very striking, for Saul was a Pharisee, and therefore a man who habitually repeated prayers; but He who searcheth the hearts, and knew what prayer is, here declares that now at length he begins to pray. What his friends would have put down as a great mass of prayer, the Lord makes nothing of…Words are but the body of devotion: the confession of sin, the longing for mercy, these are the spirit of prayer. A man may have repeated the choicest words, and yet not have prayed at all. A man may utter no word whatever, and he may be praying most effectually, as Moses and Hannah. Anyhow, that prayer which is not spiritual is not prayer; for “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” If the spirit does not commune with God, there may have been music and oratory, but there has been no prayer. ~ C.H. Spurgeon




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