Acts 3:1-5: A funny thing happened on the way to the prayer meeting.
It is good to pray.
It is good to establish habits of prayer.
It is good to pray with others.
As Peter and John were doing their ‘duty’ (although I’m sure it was more to them than that) they met with opportunity. The plight of the needy man they met is conveyed in two words: ‘’carried’’ and ‘’put’’ (2). Where he was placed he had to stay. He couldn’t move under his own steam. He was a congenital cripple. Begging was the only way he could ‘earn’ a crust. It is possible to be so focussed on what we are doing that we don’t see people – not really see them;
…so busy we don’t see them;
…so distracted we don’t see them. (Have you ever been more preoccupied with the screen on your phone than with the person sat opposite or next to you?)
But ‘’Peter looked straight at him, as did John’’ (4). They gave him their full attention, and they asked for his (4). (As a preacher, I think you are more likely to gain a hearing from your congregation if they know you ‘see’ them; that you love them and care about their real life circumstances). It’s good to ask boldly (3), and with faith (5). But sometimes we set our sights too low. We can think we know what we need most, but God knows best. He did far more than this man asked. As someone said, ‘He asked for alms, but got legs!’ In a sense he did get the money he asked for (because now he could earn it), but he also got something infinitely more precious – his health.
So ‘’One day’’ (1) turned into a wonderful day. Any ordinary day that you go about your business as a Christian can turn into an extraordinary day by God’s leading – and that is ‘’Beautiful’’ (2).
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, lead me today to people you want me to meet, and may I be ready to give them what you have put into my hand to share. Help me to really see the people I come across in the course of this ordinary day.