Effective Prayer

February 7, 2018

Acts 3:2-8… And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Gate Beautiful to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold but what I do have, I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

            This lame man was hoping for a couple coins from the people who passed by him. He appealed to their sympathy. Peter and John were not distracted by sympathy; they saw a deeper need and called on Jesus to meet that need. After a touch from Jesus, the man would never again need assistance to get to the gate and beg for help. His life was completely changed that day… by a touch from the Master’s hand.  The man did not see Jesus that day; He only saw Peter and John. Reading on, we learn that Peter gave all the glory to Jesus, but the people, including the authorities, saw only Peter and John. When Jesus does a miracle on the earth, He may use you or me. People may see only you or me. Can you handle that? To be involved in a miracle might have the tendency to swell the head. That could nullify the benefits of the miracle.

            Or, we could remain humble and Jesus could completely change a person’s life. Let’s return to an earlier comment; “Peter and John were not distracted by sympathy.”  I wonder how often God has to work past our emotions in order to do what He wants to do? And I wonder how often our emotions distort our vision of what is really wrong? We live in the immediate. “God this person needs help right now.” God, who sees eternity, says, “NO, this person needs the Holy Spirit in his life.” We must include intercession in every prayer. At least, most prayers. Most ‘help me’ prayers are emotionally driven.

Ask what you will, and it will be granted you… not what you would like.