Sunday, January 27, 2013

Prayer First

Prayer First

Scripture:


Acts 3:1-2
Peter Heals a Crippled Beggar
Chapter 3
 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple.

Acts 3:6
But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.”


Observation:

Peter and John were in the habit of going to the daily prayer meeting.  On their way to prayer they came across a man who had never been able to walk.  For years he had been lying there at the gate hoping that people would help him, begging for financial assistance.  The disciples were very certainly not rich individuals.  They actually had very little from a materialistic standpoint, but they  had everything from an eternal perspective.  Why would they need things humanly when they could go to God's storerooms on a daily basis and have more than enough.  They were on the way to the storeroom of heaven when they came across the lame man.  He was asking for money.  Ah, how ridiculous that sounds when God's storehouses are available to you!  Money was not going to solve his problems.  Rather, money was only a temporary fix to feed him for a day, but he would be hungry the next.

Peter and John told him very honestly that they had no silver or gold.  They did not have these human treasurers...but they had so much more.  They had been to the storeroom on a daily basis.  They had the power of God to take care of this Man's problems now, and for eternity.  Why offer him something cheap like silver or gold?  Instead they offered him complete and total healing.  The man got up and walked for the first time in his whole life.  Now he could work and feed himself for the rest of his life, not needing to rely on others.  But he didn't stop there...he went walking and leaping into the Temple.  His healing was not temporary, it was eternal and now the disciples were going to show him how to feast from God's table for the rest of his life.  He was headed to the prayer meeting!

Application:  

This is a favored story from the life of the disciples.  We love to hear how Peter and John were able to heal this man but too often we fail to recognize where it is they were going.  Prayer, or communion with God had taken first priority in their lives.  Here, in the middle of a busy afternoon they are taking time to go to prayer.  This was their habit, it was what they did on a regular basis!  They never could have healed that man had they not been attending the prayer meeting.

These days it seems that we fail to notice what needs to come first!  We go to seminars and we read all kinds of books on how to live our lives, how to be successful, how to be disciplined and organized, but if there is no prayer, we will be doing all of this on our own.  Those serving within Christianity are some of the guiltiest.  It seems that taking time for prayer is almost unheard of!  Why?  Because it gets in the way of what WE have planned.  What if God wanted to break in and change all the plans?  Would he have e freedom to do so?  

If we are to experience God in a powerful way then we must take the time to get alone with him, commune with him, fellowship with him and rach into the very throne room of heaven.  Suzanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley was a very busy woman.  She raised a houseful of children, she taught them, ran the household and often held church services in her kitchen.  She didn't have much free time...and yet she awakened early each morning to spend two hours with The Lord before beginning her day.  Her son John followed his other's example.  They became a family that touched the world in miraculous ways.  Could it be because prayer came first?  

Whether in the life of the disciples, or people throughout history who significantly touched their world, they had one thing in common.  Prayer came first!  God is searching out among his followers for those today who will take the time to make prayer a priority.  Prayer first -- then touch the world.

Prayer:

Thank you Lord for the gift of prayer...a conduit to a personal relationship with you.  Amen.

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