Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

Count It Not Against Them

Acts 7:51-8:13 As Stephen was being stoned he prayed. "And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep" (Acts 7:60, KJV).

I never understood the importance of Stephen's prayer that day until I attended a seminar on forgiveness. This seminar opened my eyes to the importance of remitting the sins of others. Jesus gave this power to His disciples and to all those who would believe after them. John 20:21-23 records this vital impartation of power: "Peace be unto you: as my Father has sent me, even so I send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins you retain, they are retained" (KJV).

In this passage in Acts Stephen remitted the sins of those who stoned him. He prayed, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." Saul was present at the stoning of Stephen. The Scriptures say, "And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul" (Acts 7:58). Later we are told by Scripture that "Saul was consenting unto his death." It was through this prayer of Stephen's that Saul was open to hear from God on the Damascus Road. Stephen's prayer paved the way for Saul's conversion. We can do the same through praying for others in this way. First John 5:16 tells us how to pray for those we see sin. "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that."

Instead of criticizing and judging a brother when we see him sin, we should pray for him. We should cry out as Stephen did to the Lord, "Count it not against him." What happens when we remit the sin of another? We first must confess if we have committed a similar sin. We first most remove the beam from our own eye before we can pray effectively for the one that we see sin. When we remit a person's sins, that person is then able to hear the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit, and that person can then come to repentance. We are also praying for the protection of that person until that day when he repents and is cleansed from that sin. What a privilege we have as priests to remit the sins of others so Satan will not take advantage of them in their sinful state.

READ: 1 Kings 8:1-66; Acts 7:51-8:13; Psalm 129:1-8; Proverbs 17:1


Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Churches don't address this topic affecting women.

    The Secret Sorrow Women Carry

    This woman breaks the silence about a taboo subject to help restore many women.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit