READ: Acts 26:4-23
NOT THE ONLY WITNESSES: Paul's phrase as "all the Jews know" is something to keep in mind (v4). As we give our personal account we need to realise that others can verify or deny. Let's pray that we will always be plain speakers without unhelpful denial or unnecessary exaggeration.
MIXING POSITIVE WITH THE NEGATIVE: Sometimes when we speak of our unregenerate past it can make the devil seem very efficient. Paul peppered his preliminary comments with positive references to his present state (v6). This would have kept his listeners properly focused. Let's pray for wisdom to keep people's eyes off self and sin whenever we share our personal story.
REMEMBERING THE RESURRECTION: The Bible often speaks of the apostles as "witnesses of the resurrection". Paul had the resurrection in view every time he spoke (v8). Let's pray that our lives as well as our words will demonstrate a reliance on the resurrection power of God in our lives.
HONESTLY DISCLOSING PAINFUL TRUTH: Paul was not interested in presenting himself in a good light (vs 9-11). There is no point in glossing over truth for the sake of preserving a supposed reputation. Let's pray for the grace to face up to reality in our own lives.
BEING CLEAR WITH THE FACTS: Over the years Paul had to share his story on a number of occasions in a number of different settings. It is important to be clear on the facts (vs12-18). Facts always speak louder than fiction. There are probably many people who would benefit from hearing our personal story. Let's mention some of our acquaintances with whom we have yet to share and then pray specifically for each other that we all might have appropriate opportunities.
DECLARING OUR RESPONSE: How we personally responded to the facts is almost as important as the facts themselves. Paul's response really challenged his hearers (vs19,20). Let's pray that we will be prepared to share something of ourselves whenever we speak to others. Such openness is always a blessing.
GIVING GLORY TO GOD: People all around the world just love to speak about themselves. Even if we are the exceptions we still need to make sure that it is only God who gets the glory whenever we tell our story. Paul made his gratitude abundantly plain (vs22,23). Let's praise God for all that He has done in our lives.