onsdag 29. juni 2016

Spirit and angel in a common mission

In this study of Acts I have already several times mention the combination “Spirit and angel(s)”. When I now continue reading chapter 10, the narrative contains one of the most dramatic turns in the salvation-story: 

Peter held a key-role, but his preconceived ideas about whom he considered as worthy candidates for God’s kingdom had to be broken down all together. From this day Peter, the leader among the apostles, understood that what Jesus did on the cross is valid for all men, gentiles included. To make this happen both the Holy Spirit and the angels were in action.

It is tempting to say that prayers initiated the visions, since both Cornelius and Peter each in his own place were in prayer, when it happened. But nothing is said about what they were praying for. The key is that both of them were in prayer and accessible for the Holy Spirit. God already knew what He wanted to do, but he waited for the right time when both the ‘minister’ and the receivers were ready. It tells something about the fact that prayers also can be a preparation time for something I do not really know what is.

It is also interesting to note that Luke has identified the times for both prayers. Peter prayed in sixth hour, which is the prayer at noon, while Cornelius prayed the afternoon prayers in the ninth hour (1).

We know that the first Christians faithful heeded to the prayers (2), and it is very likely that there were three times for prayer in the Jewish tradition (3). Further it is interesting that it seems to be through a disciplined prayer-life that such an important transformation is communicated. That tells me that I should be ready for encounters with the Holy Spirit (and even angels) in my daily devotions.

The daily prayer-life is both a preparation time and an arena that God uses for communication and revelations.

‘Manna’ for today:

The daily prayer-life creates a base for the Spirit to act on.
(1) See also Acts 3:1
(2) Acts 2:42
(3) See Dan 6:13

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