Day 1: Pattern of Prayer – Pray Regularly

1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

Acts 10:1-8

Listen

What is God saying to you through the scriptures today?

Reflect

There may not be much written about Cornelius’ life in the book of Acts but one thing we are told is that he prayed regularly to God. We aren’t given details of his prayer life such as when he prayed or how he prayed. We are simply told that he consistently spent time with God in prayer. Prayer isn’t some magic potion to get God to move on our behalf. Instead, it is a crucial way to align ourselves to the work and the purpose of God. At the core, it is an invitation to walk with God intimately. Cornelius appears in the book of Acts during an impressionable stage in the early days of the local church. God uses his life to show Peter that God’s invitation to the good news isn’t reserved just for the select few but to everyone. It was a defining moment for Peter and the church to understand and embrace this new covenant. God’s love is much deeper and his invitation stretches far wider than anyone could have conceived.

And here is a thing that shows up over and over again in the stories of people who walk closely with God and have lived life with this kind of big and bold faith. They all prayed regularly! Jesus’ disciples certainly saw this pattern in Jesus and saw an unmistakable connection between Jesus’ prayer life and his life of uncommon clarity and power. And so they asked Jesus, “teach us how to pray!” And as we embark on this journey to prayer for the next 28 days, let’s ask God to also teach us how to pray. And as we pray regularly, may our expectations and anticipations to see and experience God be increased daily.

Pray

“Lord, teach me how to pray.” Before I share what’s in my heart, help me to make space to hear what is in yours.

Do

Mark Batterson says change of place and change pace brings about change of perspective. For the next 28 days, set aside a certain place where you can go to God in prayer daily. It could be a closet, a local park, or your favorite coffee shop, but build a consistent rhythm for the next 4 weeks and prioritize your time with God in prayer. Your goal is to be consistent, daily, and be expectant! So mark your place and time and see if God doesn’t show up more regularly in your life.

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