Puritan preacher Thomas Brookes once said, “A family without prayer is like a house without a roof, open and exposed to all the storms of heaven.” Praying as a family can be challenging. But when a family learns to pray together, amazing things can happen. Such was the case for Cornelius and his family as they feared the Jewish God and prayed to Him regularly.
In Acts 10, we meet Cornelius, a Roman centurion. He and his family prayed regularly to God (v. 2). They would have been part of a small minority of Gentiles who worshiped Yahweh. During one of his prayer times, the Lord gave Cornelius a vision to meet Simon Peter (vv. 3–6). The next day, Peter was praying when he too had a vision from the Lord (v. 9). Peter’s vision was not about food laws, but rather God’s attitude toward the Gentiles. The Lord was signaling a new era for Jesus’ followers that would include Jews and non-Jews into one family. Without Peter’s vision, it is unlikely the apostle would have ventured to Cornelius’s home and met this God-fearing family.
Peter was able to comprehend the Lord’s message because he was in a spirit of prayer. He quickly determined to obey God. Similarly, in prayer, Cornelius and his family sought after the Triune God even though they had very little knowledge of everything that happened in Jerusalem. Because Peter, Cornelius, and his family were all in prayer, they were able to build bridges that broke through division. The saving grace of Jesus was now offered to all. The family table had been extended for all to come and have a place.
>> Do you pray with your family? Spend time together this week asking God to work in your family and to use you for His purpose. Even if you are praying together for the first time when a family prays together, amazing things can happen.
Lord, we come before you as a family and ask you to use us to accomplish your purposes. Unite us and give us opportunities to demonstrate your sacrificial love to those in need.