Acts 7:59-8:1a NIV 2011
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
And Saul approved of their killing him.
Stephen had just completed his speech to the Sanhedrin. He accused them saying, “You stiff-necked people! You are just like your ancestors.” They were furious, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Stephen’s prayer request was quite similar to Jesus’ words to the Father. Luke 23:46, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.” He went to his knees in prayer just as Jesus knelt and prayed in Gethsemane. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told the people to “pray for those who persecute you.” Stephen died at their hands as Saul/Paul observed. Jesus’ model of forgiveness is the perfect model of forgiveness for believers.
The Lord uses different circumstances to bring me to my knees in prayer. Who do I need to forgive? Who do I need to go to and seek forgiveness? There are some I need to ask God to forgive me for harboring anger with continued resentment toward them. A friend who had dropped out of my life, I asked God to forgive my resentment and forgave that person. My attitude is so much better when I choose the Lord’s model of forgiveness.
Who needs our forgiveness?
Choosing daily to be forgiving,