March 6 I Tuesday
“…Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.” —Acts 10:9-10
In Acts 10, we read of two men who experienced God respond as they prayed. Cornelius was a Roman centurion who lived in Caesarea. Though not yet a believer in Christ, he was a God-fearing man who prayed regularly and gave generously to the poor. While he was praying, God told Cornelius through a vision to send for Peter. Cornelius immediately obeyed and sent three of his servants to Joppa where Peter was.
The next day, Peter went up to a roof to pray and fell into a trance. He saw something like a large sheet being lowered from heaven with all kinds of animals, reptiles and birds on it. God commanded him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat!” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time. “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (Acts 10:13-15). This happened three times before the sheet was taken back to heaven.
While Peter was wondering what this vision meant, Cornelius’s men arrived at his gate. When they stated their purpose, Peter’s vision became crystal clear. Jews were not only prohibited from eating meat deemed unclean, but were forbidden to associate with Gentiles. God bringing Peter and Cornelius together was significant of breaking down the Jewish-Gentile barrier. Once at Cornelius’s home, Paul explained the Gospel to him and his family and friends who had gathered. While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on them and they became the first Gentile converts to Christianity.
Both men were in prayer when they received a vision. Many people think prayer is one-sided, and whether we pray out loud or silently, it feels as if we are the only ones talking. Perhaps this is because we do not expect a response and are inattentive to giving God a chance to speak. Prayer is more than our speaking and requesting. It is our lifeline to God, which involves two-way communication.
There is no set way in which God speaks, but the more time we spend in intimate prayer, the more adept we become in discerning God’s voice. As we read His Word, God may bring our attention to a particularly relevant passage that speaks loudly to us. He may place words in our hearts that resound with incredible meaning or a line from a book or a song will really hit home. He may speak through dreams, visions or give us a sixth sense about something. God answers prayers and knows what pulls at our heartstrings. This makes it essential that we are vigilant in listening for His voice, not only in times of prayer but throughout our day.
Prayer: Lord God, quiet my anxious heart so I can hear Your voice. Speak to me, Father, and grant me a willing spirit to discern and respond to what You have to say. In Jesus’s name.