We were so blessed to have four crazy Legacy kids crash at our house last night as they swung through town on their way to snowboard in Colorado. Payton, Chris, Landon, and Paul arrived in time to share a full Carrie-Anne cooked Mexican food dinner complete with sopapilla cheesecake and ice cream and a couple of college basketball games on TV. I’m pleased to report that Chris has lost his lip ring; but Landon showed up with two huge honkin’ earrings! It’s always good to have Payton around because he makes me feel so young. Seriously. He acts older than my dad! And Paul was able to refresh me on my very limited Russian vocabulary. (Remind me to call David Nelson soon. Apparently, the word Nelson taught me to say as “Thank you” while we were in Kharkov is actually “Delicious!” It’s a wonder I didn’t get arrested over there! Somebody’s messing with me.)
We teased each other mercilessly into the night. We reminded one another about goldfish in the back of my pickup, glow sticks in the front yard, apple trees on the front porch, and living room furniture in the lawn. And we talked about Quincy and praying together and serving the homeless and ministering to the outcast in the name of our King. These are the prayingest young men I’ve ever known. And sacrificial. Servant hearted. What a blessing to have them as friends. What a blessing to be able to worship with these great kids this morning at Central.
“About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.” ~Acts 10:9
I love the way this one verse ties two stories together. This one verse takes two men and their two different stories and eternally connects them into one unforgettable reminder of God’s mission and his power to accomplish it. Cornelius’ men had left Caeasarea to find Peter in Joppa. Peter goes up on the roof to pray, not knowing he’s already part of a story that began the day before. Peter is the answer to the prayer of a guy he’s never met. Cornelius’ men are on their way to get Peter and Peter doesn’t even know he’s got an appointment. He just thinks it’s lunch.
The angel of the Lord has already told Cornelius that his prayers have been heard by God and are being honored. His prayers are being answered. Peter is that answer. Peter is the one who will open up the truth of salvation from the crucified and risen Christ Jesus to Cornelius.
See how that works?
I wish we could hear the world praying.
“God, I don’t know where else to turn; I don’t know what to do. God, who’s going to take care of me?”
“Father, I’m at the end of my rope; I’m desperate. Please help me, God; please help me.”
Lord, I want to know you. Please show yourself to me. Please reveal your will to me. I want to belong to you, God.”
“Holy God, please provide someone to help me. Please, God, send somebody to help me.”
I wish we could hear the prayers of everybody at the apartment complex on Washington Avenue. I wish we could hear the prayers of all the kids at Bivins Elementary. I wish we could hear the prayers of the guys living under the bridge at Paramount and I-40. I wish we could hear the prayers of the man across the street in his $200,000 house. I wish we could hear the prayers of the single mom around the corner and the widowed lady who greets us at Wal-Mart and the waiter at The Burger Bar. I wish we could hear their prayers because I bet a bunch of them are praying for us. They’re praying for our hearts and our minds and our attitudes and our mission. They’re praying for God to shake us out of our comfort zones and get us moving in a reconciliation direction.
Can you hear your own prayers? How do you pray? What do you pray? If every single one of your prayers from last week were answered, would the whole world change? Or just your world? Seriously, how do you pray?
God, help us. May God give us minds and dreams and prayers big enough to imagine what he’s going to have us do next.