There is a small window in Howes Chapel that is hardly ever seen by the worshippers. It is in the Northwest wall at the West end of the Lord’s table. It is tucked away behind a supporting structure for the walls, out of view of the worshipping congregation. But look at the vibrant color and the grace and dignity of Cornelius kneeling at his appointed time of prayer in the afternoon. The angel is poised above him pointing to something still out of Cornelius’ line of sight.
“One afternoon at about three o’clock he had a vision in which he clearly saw an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius’” (Acts 9:3).
The angel instructs Cornelius to send people to Joppa where Simon Peter is lodging with Simon the Tanner. They are to bring Peter back to Caesarea so that Cornelius can pray with him. Meanwhile, Peter receives a vision as well: a magnificent sheet is being let down from heaven full of clean and unclean animals and Peter is instructed to “eat.” All of the rules about the clean and unclean are about to be redefined. When Peter returns with the messengers and they are gathered in the presence of Cornelius,
“the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they head them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ So, he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.” (Acts 9:44-46)
The book of Acts is a wonderful testimony to how God continues to use the prayer life of one person to bless another person. Therefore, Garrett-Evangelical invites you to pray fervently today for God to use you to be an answer to someone else’s prayer.
Mysterious and Loving God, You let down sheets full of reptiles, birds and animals, and you challenge us to reconsider what we had so neatly identified as clean and unclean; you send angels to speak aloud the names of persons you intend to bless. Open our hearts to be receptive to your vision, so that we might be a blessing to others. We pray through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
By Al Caldwell, Retired Faculty, editor