God Honors Consistent Prayer and Faithful Living, Part 4 (Praying Through the Bible #216)

TEXT: Acts 10:9-16

9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

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 215 messages in this series.

This is message #216 titled, God Honors Consistent Prayer and Faithful Living, Part 4

Tonight, we continue in Acts chapter 10 where we have already been introduced to the Gentile Centurion Cornelius, a devout man who prayed faithfully to God. Now, we turn to a character whom we have met previously in the Scriptures — Peter, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. In the Gospels, we are introduced to Peter as a brash and headstrong individual — the type of person who leaps before he looks and has a strong opinion about how things should be carried out.

Here, however, we find Peter to be a man humble and willing to wait on God in prayer. Now, just to set up this scene, you need to know that an angel visited the aforementioned Cornelius, telling him that his prayers and his alms had been received as a memorial before God. The angel told Cornelius to send messengers to Peter in Joppa in order to ask him to come back with them to Cornelius’ house where Peter would share the Gospel message with them.

Now, unbeknownst to Cornelius, Peter was also a man of regular prayer. It is likely that he kept the tradition of Old Testament figures such as Daniel and prayed three times a day. In this passage, we drop in on Peter as he is engaged in his noontime hour of prayer. Notice the following about Peter’s manner of praying.

Peter was very private and protective about his prayer time. The Bible says “he went up upon the housetop to pray.” He was staying with acquaintances at the time and he did not want to be disturbed as he went before God. So, he bypassed the closet and went up onto the roof to get alone with God. Peter, of course, was considered the leader of the apostles and of the young church at the time. But, as Matthew Henry notes, “Though he had a great deal of public work upon his hands, Peter was much in prayer and much in secret prayer. He retired to the housetop for privacy, where he could neither hear nor be heard, and so might avoid both distraction and ostentation.”

Peter was not interested in putting on a show while praying. He had taken to heart Jesus’ teaching about the Pharisees who liked to stand on the street corners and pray so they might be seen of men. They had their reward, but Peter was interested in rewards from God. He knew that these rewards came to those who were serious about their prayer time — serious enough to arrange things so that they are not interrupted when engaged in prayer.

Today, with the internet, cell phones, social media, and the constant pressure to always be connected to what is going on in the world, it can feel difficult to set and keep quality, dedicated alone time with God. But it is necessary for our spiritual growth and progress as believers. And if we want God’s guidance and direction — as He guided Cornelius and Peter in this passage — it is something we must do every day of our lives.

James Montgomery wrote:

Come to the Morning Prayer,
Come let us kneel and pray;
Prayer is the Christian pilgrim’s staff
To walk with God all day.

At noon, beneath the Rock
Of Ages, rest and pray;
Sweet is that shadow from the heat,
When the sun smites by day.

At eve, shut to the door,
Round the home-altar pray,
And finding there “the House of God,”
At “heaven’s gate” close the day.

When midnight seals our eyes,
Let each in spirit say,
“I sleep, but my heart waketh, Lord,
With Thee to watch and pray.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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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