If you haven’t read through the book of Acts you should, because there’s some crazy stuff that happened during the early days of the church. Especially the story that happened just before the passage we are going to look at today.
As we have journeyed through the prayers of the early church we have seen a lot of similar prayers. Especially in terms of proclaiming the gospel. And yesterday, we talked about praying for healing of believers. But have you ever stopped to think about God healing unbelievers? Well, they did that too.
They called on God for the healing of unbelievers.
7 Now in the region around that place were fields belonging to the chief official of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably as guests for three days. 8 The father of Publius lay sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and after praying, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 After this had happened, many of the people on the island who were sick also came and were healed. 10 They also bestowed many honors, and when we were preparing to sail, they gave us all the supplies we needed. (Acts 28:7-10)
A lot of times when we think about trying to reach the people in our 8 to 15 for Christ, we think we have to boldly proclaim the gospel to them. We conjure up this image in our heads that we have preach a hell fire and brimstone message that will cause them to have to choose Christ. And because most of us aren’t comfortable doing that, we never share with them.
But, as we see here Paul prayed for the people on the island of Malta. Yes, he was praying for their healing and that might be a little bit much for us. But, have you ever had someone in your 8 to 15 ask you to pray for something? What would happen if you prayed with them right then and there? And then commit to praying regularly for them. Or, if they share a struggle or sickness with you, how hard would it be to offer to pray for them?
Can you imagine if you prayed for them and then they got better or the situation got resolved? Then, when they come to you, you can celebrate with them, “That’s great news, I’ve been praying for you!” Imagine if they keep coming to you and God keeps answering their prayers – what a tremendous opportunity you will have to share with them. All the ground work has been laid for you to have a conversation about this God that you’re praying to.
So, look for opportunities to pray for people in your 8 to 15. Yes, you can do it without them knowing about it. But how much greater influence could you have if they knew?
The Three for Morning, Afternoon and Evening.
“Now for Next” Prayer
What do we need to do now as a church to be ready for what God has for us next.
“What’s My Role” Prayer
Pray for God to show us the role we will play individually in accomplishing that mission.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.