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A Prayer for Radical Change
By Chelsey DeMatteis

"And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized.." - Acts 9:18

Watching someone you love live their life apart from Jesus is excruciating. You want to be the one to save them, even though you know that’s not how salvation goes. I write this as the one who wasn’t living for Jesus and caused excruciating pain to those who loved me.

When someone asks if there is a story in the Bible that I feel most reflects my conversion, I always answer with Paul on the road to Damascus. While I wasn’t persecuting Christians, my life was out of control. Off the rails is the best way to put it. I was quite literally running from God. 

I had scales on my eyes, walls built up in my heart, and the false belief that I could do life fine on my own. This left me exactly the way you’re imagining. Hurt, broken, lonely, sad, and looking for something or someone to fill me. Sadly, I kept looking everywhere and everyone except Jesus. 

By God’s grace, He met me in many miraculous ways. Some big and some small. He pursued, and pursued, and pursued. He never stopped coming after my heart even though I was running from Him. One night on my college campus, I was met by two officers citing me for breaking the law. Life was over, I thought; however, life was actually just beginning. Those two officers were the first glimmer of grace in my life, as odd as it sounds. This moment shook me up and got my attention. It revealed to my stubborn spirit that I didn’t have life all figured out but that life was quite literally falling apart. 

Two weeks later, I had to appear in court for my minor misdemeanor, though it felt anything but minor to me. My dad attended the hearing with me, and another miracle took place, a man showed up to stand on my behalf. This was not an attorney either of us had called; however, he stated a friend of my dad's had asked if he was in the area to stop by. You’re probably thinking the same thing I am as I tell this story again, “What in the world!”. A man came and stood on my behalf, this man showed me the picture of what Jesus is in the life of those who love Him. 

This encounter changed my life; two months later, I surrendered my life to Jesus. Just like Paul, Jesus met me on a messy, broken, hard road. And yet He chose to radically change my life. It says in the scripture that once Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit, “..immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized.." Acts 9:18

Immediate, radical, instant change. This is the work of our Heavenly Father, and He still does this today! 

Let’s pray:

Lord, we praise you for still working in radical, instantaneous ways. You are faithful to pursue hearts even when they are running from you. Lord, give me the strength to love the people well in my life who are running from you. Help me point them back to you in a way to shows them your heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Bulat Silvia

Chelsey is the voice behind the Living with Less Podcast and author of the 52-week devotional More of Him, Less of Me: Living a Christ-centered Life in a Me-centered World. She writes devotions for Lifeway Women's Journey Magazine,, and She also writes Bible reading plans for the YouVersion Bible App. Chelsey lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. You can connect with her on Instagram @chelseydematteis and at her website

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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