He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy. Galatians 1:23
What do you do about those who curse you, hate you, despitefully use you, persecute you and those who even try to kill you? What do you do about the one who is doing everything within his power to destroy you and what you believe in?
For the early believers nothing much could be done about the man we’ve come to know as Paul, the apostle. Only prayer! Scripture is silent about whether prayers were offered up to God to stop this man who was running a campaign to exterminate the “people of the way.” But we know that prayers were indeed lifted to God to stop him. Thank God, today we have the writings of Paul the Apostle a man who was once a murderer and a persecutor of the Church.
In the late 90s a mad man named Joshua Milton Blahyi, better known by his nom de guerre General Butt Naked roamed the streets of Monrovia killing, eating human flesh and drinking human blood. He was initiated as priest at an early age over an African traditional religious cult and endowed with demonic priestly powers. Joshua Milton Blahyi, better known as General Butt Naked and his men fought completely naked during the Liberian Civil War because they believed that supernatural powers were given to them through this strange ritual. Together with his men, General Butt Naked set the city on fire and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
Within that period a brave group of believers were praying for God to kill the General. During one of their prayer meetings, someone began to prophecy that God wanted them to change the way they were praying. Instead of praying for the death of the General – they were to prayer for his salvation. So they did.
Within a short time, General But Naked attended a church service where he got saved. At the altar the power of God came upon him and for several days they had him laid up in his bed.
According to him, for three days, what seemed like black smoke left his body while he laid on his bed. He got delivered, filled with the Holy Spirit and today he goes around preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is power in prayer. Prayer releases a kind of power that this world knows nothing about. It can soften the heart of the most hardened sinner. Too often we try to educate the sinner into salvation instead of praying him in. We fail to realize that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,” and praying for unbelievers moves the hand of God to draw them to himself.
Maybe its your boss, your neighbor, that bully at school. Whoever they might be. I don’t care how evil or difficult they are. I know one thing that can change them – it is radical redeeming prayer.
We are to bless, do good to, and love our enemies. But there is one more thing we are all called to do – that is pray for our enemies. Love them enough to pray for them. You’ll be surprised by what God will do.
September 2nd 2013/ Walter Bright ESV Notes on Galatians 1:23/ Joshua Milton Blahyi, better known by his nom de guerre General Butt Naked