March 26,2020

Read Acts 3

“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.” Acts 3:1


We sing about the “sweet hour of prayer that calls me from a world of care.”  The song concludes when we go to be with the Lord and bid farewell to that sweet hour of prayer. For most Christians in the twenty first century, it has been a long time since we spent an hour in prayer, in fact most have never have spent an hour in prayer. The only time that we have a desire to pray for a long period of time is when we are in the waiting room at the hospital with a loved one in the emergency room or in intensive care.


The culture in the middle east is much different. The ninth hour was the time of day when people would gather at the temple for an hour of prayer. This was a part of Peter and John’s life. Even after they were saved, they still longed to go to the temple to pray. Obviously there were many prayers in that time that were simply words. The ones praying did not know the Lord and were literally praying to a building or to a force. God would not hear those prayers. Peter and John were different, they not only prayed, but they heard God speak. He spoke in a way that caused them to know His will. 


One day as they walked they met a man who was crippled. He asked for alms, or money to live on, but Peter and John had no money to give him. They gave him what they had to offer, the healing power of Christ. The man not only stood but walked, leaped and praised God. The fact that they saw the man’s need and knew that God was willing to heal him showed the depth of their fellowship with God. Their prayer life is visible in the way that they heard and understood God’s will. 


We have something to offer, but “who?” and “what?” and “how much?” are questions that are only answered when we are in fellowship through prayer. As we seek Him, God reveals in a day by day, tangible way how He wants us to use our gifts to help people. We may not have anything substantial to give them that can pay their bills, but we have a treasure that they need more than money. God has asked us to give them His presence in their lives. That presence comes as they understand the death and resurrection of Christ. Paul says, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”  Philippians 3:10


An Exercise to increase our Faith: Spend an hour in prayer. Try to find a place where you won’t be distracted. You might want to set a clock so that you will know when the hour has expired. Write down people who need the Lord, and any other needs that you know about. Pray for them and pray that God would use you in a tangible way to help meet those needs. 



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