Acts 3: 1-8
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer – at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
Here in Acts 3 we find Peter and John going to the temple at 3 o'clock in the afternoon to pray. Good Jewish men prayed 3 times a day, and even though Peter and John were now Christians, they still maintained this discipline of regular, daily prayer at a set time because they understood how important this was.
I have discovered recently that ‘the daily quiet time’ is now often considered 'old fashioned' and is the exception among many, if not most, believers. They like to be more spontaneous than that - they wait and see when they’re free for five minutes and try to get a quick Bible reading done and a few prayers said. After all, they don’t want to be legalistic and have their time with God become routine. God would prefer us to be more natural and spontaneous, wouldn’t He?
What I have found is that if I don’t have the discipline of a regular time set aside every day where I close myself away and devote proper time to God, it just doesn’t happen. Other stuff comes in, I get tired, people phone, I get distracted, there’s stuff on TV I just have to watch.
Discipline is not a bad word. Habit is not a bad word. We need to develop good disciplines and Godly habits, because we all know it’s easy to develop habits and patterns in our lives which aren’t so healthy and Godly.
Some days we will just be going through the motions when we have our time with God, and that’s OK. That’s what Peter and John here probably did the day before the day we’re looking at. And the day before that.
But on this particular day, God breaks into their habit and moves supernaturally through them.
And that’s what I find. If I will discipline myself to set aside time each day, every now and again, God will break in and speak to me or give me such a strong sense of His presence.
I read something recently: "Time in the presence of God is like radiation to the cancer of sin in our lives."
When we spend quality time in God’s presence every day, His presence kills that sin in us that we are struggling with to defeat on our own. God’s presence changes us.
Have you ever noticed the more we spend time with someone, the more you become like them? You begin to talk alike and use the same phrases and jokes. Couples who have been married for years sometimes even begin to look alike – it’s weird!
You become like those you spend most time with, and it’s the same with us and God – the more time we spend with Him, the more like Him we will become.
Develop the discipline and habit of setting aside a set time every day to spend with God.