Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
Imagine you wake up early Saturday morning to attend your local church’s prayer meeting. On the way God stops you. Not only does God prevent you from making it to the prayer meeting on time, but you also miss it altogether and end up in jail! And to put a cherry on top, you have a court hearing where you are warned to never preach the name of Jesus again.
Does this story sound familiar? This is exactly what happened to Peter and John in the third chapter of Acts. If you don’t know the whole story, it would be easy to wonder how this all panned out. Why would God allow these good men--who had a desire to pray--to end up in such a predicament? These men were dedicated to God.
Why would God allow them to miss this important prayer time? We can’t know for sure what Peter and John planned to pray for that day. If their prayer meetings were anything like those I’ve attended, they were probably going to pray to reach people for Christ and change the lives of those they worked with. Guess what? God gives these two disciples a platform to do just that.
How did the Lord provide this? It’s very simple. It started with a desire to pray. On their way to the prayer meeting that day, they bumped into a crippled man that needed help. This man was begging to provide for his daily necessities. Peter and John explained to the man they had no money to offer. Instead, they presented something much more valuable. They introduced this beggar to Christ. Instantly, this man’s life was changed forever. He was healed and became a witness for Christ right away, jumping and running around for all to see.
The lame man’s commotion began to draw a crowd. Peter saw an opportunity to give all the credit to Jesus for the miracle that took place that day. As Peter preached Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, over 5,000 people believed on the Lord. Peter and John never made it to the prayer meeting that day, but it seems that they were used far beyond what anyone could have requested.
What directions can a disciple find in today’s story? If we desire to do great things for God, it will start with the little things. The things that others may not see right away, like prayer, humility, or reading your Bible.
1. They had a Partner for Prayer (Peter & John)
2. They had a Place for Prayer (The Temple)
3. They had a Set Period for Prayer (3:00 PM)
What would happen if every Christian found a fervent desire to pray and set a goal to do these three things? I imagine we could turn the world upside down, just like Peter and John did. You can desire to do many mighty works for the Lord, but don’t forget that it begins with the small things!
How can we follow through and see God do a great work in and through our lives?
As it made sense for the One who was the Word of God to follow the Word of God, so too does it make sense for His followers to do the same.