Date: Thursday, September 4
Scripture: Acts 10:1-8 (read all the way to verse 48 for the whole story)
Verse: One day at nearly three o’clock in the afternoon, he clearly saw an angel from God in a vision. The angel came to him and said, “Cornelius!” (Acts 10:3) At noon on the following day, as their journey brought them close to the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. (Acts 10:9)
Routines can be very helpful. Many of us get up at the same time every day. We start our work day the same way every day. We go to the gym at the same time every day, or head out for our jog or bike ride at the same time. Routine helps us remember to do what we need to do every day. It even keeps us from making excuses or allowing other things to sneak in and steal the time away from things we want to accomplish. In the same way, it is good to have a time and place set aside for prayer and devotion.
In today’s passage we find the author of Acts including some odd details. In verse 3 we are told Cornelius prays at 3:00 in the afternoon. In verse 9, the verse after today’s reading, we are told Peter went up to pray on the roof at noon. Far later in the story, Cornelius tells the story of his visitation to Peter, including that he was praying at 3 in the afternoon. Peter and Cornelius seem to each have a prayer routine in their lives. They’re different routines, but each has one. They pray every day at the same time, and in Peter’s case, in the same place — on the roof.
While I wouldn’t recommend climbing on your roof this morning for a time of prayer, I do recommend setting aside a special time and place for prayer. Kneel beside your bed, sit in your favorite chair, have a conversation with God in your car as you commute to work, find a private place during your lunch hour. If you find your prayer life sporadic, get in a routine. Find a time and place for prayer every day.
Prayer: Show me, Holy Spirit, a rhythm and routine for my life of prayer. Amen.
Action: If you don’t have a prayer routine, get into one today. When and where can you pray every day?
Respond: I pray first thing in the morning in our guest room. What is your routine?
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