Opportunities for Ministry On the Pathway of Prayer, Part 1 (Praying Through the Bible #205)

TEXT: Acts 3:1-10

1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;

3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:

10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 204 messages in this series.

This is message #205 titled, Opportunities for Ministry On the Pathway of Prayer, Part 1

Perhaps you have heard the saying, ‘If you want something done, give it to the person who is already busy.’ In the business world, a person who is already successfully accomplishing things is more likely to accomplish something new than someone who is lazy. From our passage today, we learn that, in the spiritual realm, it operates the same way. A person who is already about their Father’s business, as Peter and John were, is more likely to accomplish a new task for God that they had not set out to accomplish.

As Peter and John were making their way to the house of prayer, we read that “a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful. He, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms.” Peter and John were not expecting to cross paths with this man, but God knew he would be there.

The lame man who could not provide for himself as others did eked out a living by begging. Giving to the poor was highly regarded in Judaism; it was commanded by Moses and seen as an act of righteousness. In his position at the highly-trafficked Beautiful Gate outside the Temple, the lame beggar expected to pull in enough money to get by that day. Some historians describe begging in the Ancient Near East as a type of industry — there was a strategy to doing it that poor people used for maximum effect. It was not random that the beggar called out to Peter and John. Out of all the people standing around at that moment, he identified them as the most likely to help him.

Of course, God knew that this man would be there at that particular time. He knew that Peter and John would be there on their way to pray. The two disciples were going to fulfill a very important service to the Lord, but God allowed this lame beggar to interrupt them while they were on the pathway of prayer.

How did Peter and John respond? The Bible says, “Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.” Peter and John gave their full attention to this lame beggar. They did not brush by him in their haste to get into the Temple to pray. This beggar was just as important to God as the disciples keeping their daily prayer time.

Think about all the houses, cars, and people you pass by on your way to church each week. Have you ever passed by someone broken down on the side of the road, but you didn’t stop because you were so eager to make it to church on time? Have you ever had the unexpected opportunity to serve someone in the name of Jesus or to tell someone about Jesus, but let it pass because you had already set out to do some other ministry work?

Peter and John could have ignored this man and went on with their prayer time. They could have helped any number of other beggars waiting around the Temple. Why did they turn on a dime to help this particular man? The answer is that they were in tune with the Spirit of God. They were putting God first, and they recognized this opportunity as being from God. They were not just people who prayed at a particular time each day, but they moved in a spirit of communion with God. Prayer was not just an appointment to them. It was a lifestyle. Because of that, they were able to take advantage of this opportunity for ministry.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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