I remember way back when I was in Bible School at Jerry Savelle Ministries, Bible Institute and School of World Evangelism. One of the requirements was that we had to witness to people and pray with them. We were to keep a record of that and turn it in every week to receive credit. I believe, if I’m remembering correctly, we needed three such instances every week.
Anyway, I’m not positive on that so don’t hold me to it. But it was more than one anyway…
I made it a point to look for people that needed physical healing. And, truth be told, they are all around us. Just look at how many people are in wheel chairs, walkers or canes when you go to the grocery store. They may not be wheel chairs, but using those little carts, right?
Well, back then, they didn’t have those little carts everywhere like they do today. So I would look for people in wheel chairs. I would not interrupt their shopping or anything. But if they were sitting outside (probably having a cigarette, they could do that back then), I would zero in on them.
My wife would see them about the same time I would and she would just step back because I would make a pivot and go into witnessing mode. Praise God!
I would walk up and say something to the effect of, “Excuse me. As I was walking by, the Holy Spirit of God urged me to come over here and ask you if there was something I could pray with you about?” Usually, I would say 8 out 10 times anyway, they would say, “YES” and then tell me what they would like me to pray for. Sometimes it was their health, sometimes it was their family or finances, etc.
That is what we are reading today from our scripture. Peter and John are walking into the Temple area to pray and they see this man at the gate. He’s been there a long time. They’ve seen him on several occasions. He’s not new to the town.
But this day, something is different. Something about the man is different. Something about Peter and John is different, too.
They sensed that God was about to do “something.” They did not know what it was. But they “knew” in their spirit – just like Simeon and Anna did when Jesus was being dedicated at the Temple, as we covered a few days ago.
As they were walking up to the gate area, here is this beggar and he is doing what he did everyday, begging for alms. Begging for dollars.
Peter and John didn’t have any extra money on them, but when the beggar looked into their eyes, the Bible says he looked, “Expecting.”
It was like the Holy Spirit had prompted this man to identify these two strangers out of the crowd. It was like the Holy Spirit had told him (he probably did not know it at the time, but sensed it), that these two men were going to bless him with a tremendous gift that day!
The Bible says he looked up at them, “expectantly.”
Most preachers will say, “expecting them to give him some money.” That could very well be the truth. But let’s look at it from this angle and it makes a lot more sense.
He is EXPECTING. Peter and John can “see it” in his eyes, the Bible says. And then, you know the rest of the story.
Peter says, “Silver and gold, we have none. But what we do have, we give to you. In the Name of Jesus of Nazereth (which this man must have heard about or it would not have activated Faith on the inside of him), GET UP AND WALK.” Praise God!
But notice, Peter and John did not just “pray” for him and walk inside. No, they ASSISSTED HIM.
They reached down, the Bible says, and grabbed his arm and yanked him up to standing position. As they did so, his ankles were strengthened and he walked and jumped up and down, etc.
These were all things he had never done. He was lame from birth. He had never walked or jumped before! Amen!
Well, the point I want to make – I could go on preaching on this for an hour – but the point I’m making on this segment is Peter and John were willing to pray for someone they did not know but had just met in the street.
You need to be the same way. You need to be led by the Holy Spirit. If He urges you, prompts you, to walk up to someone and ask if you can pray for them – DO IT! Don’t be embarrassed! What is the worst that can happen? The person says “No thank you.”
That’s happened to me many times. It’s no big deal. Tell them, “Ok, have a blessed day” and walk on. But if 8 out of 10 say, “Sure” – then pray. Ask them what would they like prayer for and then pray! Amen!
“Well, brother Bob, what if I pray and yank them out of the wheel chair and they fall flat on their face? What then?”
First, I did not say to yank them out of their wheel chair, etc. I said to PRAY. If they say they want you to pray for their healing, do so. But in this day and time of numerous law suits, I would not be yanking anybody out of or off of a wheel chair or cart, etc. Not unless I was strongly being encouraged to do so by the Holy Spirit. Amen!
“Well, brother Bob, how will I know if I’m being strongly encouraged like that?”
I’m so glad you asked! What have we been talking about for almost an entire week now? Staying in a constant state of prayer with God, about all of the SMALL things, right? Then, you will be absolutely certain when you hear from God in the BIG things. Amen!
I’ll leave it right there for today…
Until next time, this is Pastor Bob Thibodeau reminding you from 1 Thessalonians 5:17 in the Living Bible to “Always Keep on Praying!” Be blessed in all that you do!
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