Life Journal (10/14/2015) – Learning to Pray Again

Scripture     Acts 3:1-5

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Observation

  • What significance lies in it being time of prayer when this story occurs?
  • Time of prayer coincided with time of sacrifice
  • Is there a connection between the time of prayer and the man begging and asking (praying)?

Application

I am in a season of thinking about and focusing on prayer in my ministry – so it is on my mind in my personal times of reflection too. ‘Pray’ or some form of the word appears 34 times in the book of Acts – more than once/chapter. It is easy to miss how critical prayer was to the early followers of Jesus and should be to us. So many significant things occur in connection with prayer.

Here, the man is praying – begging – not to God but to the passing crowds on their way to pray each day. I am sure this man and his friends and family knew that those on their way to pray would be more inclined to give, and to give generously.

Maybe I need to re-learn to pray – to really pray? To beg God for things that I do not have and that I need. This man needed money to survive as he would have had no other means of living. His prayer was answered but not as he expected.

I am certain that often I miss the answered prayer because what I ask or seek is not what God does. Yet God does something more amazing and more a witness to the love and power of Jesus Christ than the thing I want so badly for God to do.

Prayer

Lord, the man who begged from Peter could not work and so could not work. Yet he knew when a great thing had been done for him – when his life was changed in answer to his prayer. May I not be lame or limited in my praying, blind to your action in the world and in my life and in my heart. May I lie near the place where prayers are heard and answered… Amen.

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