God’s power – Monday 3rd May 2021

Peter and John Heal A Lame Man

Acts 3.1-10

One day Peter and John went to the Temple at three o’clock in the afternoon, the hour for prayer. There at the Beautiful Gate, as it was called, was a man who had been lame all his life. Every day he was carried to the gate to beg for money from the people who were going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John going in, he begged them to give him something. They looked straight at him, and Peter said, “Look at us!” So he looked at them, expecting to get something from them. But Peter said to him, “I have no money at all, but I give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I order you to get up and walk!” Then he took him by his right hand and helped him up. At once the man’s feet and ankles became strong; he jumped up, stood on his feet, and started walking around. Then he went into the Temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. The people there saw him walking and praising God, and when they recognized him as the beggar who had sat at the Beautiful Gate, they were all surprised and amazed at what had happened to him.

Reflection

1 Peter and John went to pray;
they met a lame man on the way.
He asked for alms and held out his palms,
and this is what Peter did say:

2 “Silver and gold have I none,
but what I have I give to you.
In the name of Jesus Christ
of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”

3 He went walking and jumping and praising God,
walking and jumping and praising God.
“In the name of Jesus Christ
of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

‘Silver and Gold I Have None’ Arrangement: Betty Pulkningham, 1974.

I can’t listen or read this reading from Acts without thinking of this old chorus. This is a beautiful passage which speaks into the power of Jesus’s name.

Peter and John were going to the temple to pray and on their way they met a man who was lame. He was begging outside of the temple courts, wanting Peter and John to give him money. I love the part where it says Peter and John looked at him and asked him to look at them. There was human connection. Is that a challenge for us when we see someone in need to really look at them, to truly see them?

Anyway, Peter and John say they had something or indeed someone much better than money, so they prayed for him in the name of Jesus. If I’m honest praying for healing, feels risky, but I also know I’m called to do it.

More recently, I felt completely compelled to pray for someone, related to one of my sisters. He was very ill and at one point, his wife had been called into hospital because they believed he would die. I and others kept on praying. He is now back at home. Do I understand it all? No. Have I prayed and I haven’t got the answer I wanted? Yes. Does that mean I will stop praying for healing? No.

Interestingly, the man in this story was prayed for outside of the temple courts. I wonder if God is calling us to be bolder outside in our communities in Wigan. It might feel risky, and obviously these things have to be done sensitively, but I wonder how many people would be blessed, if we too prayed for others outside of our temple courts. Just a thought.

Sam Nicholson
Area Dean and Team Vicar
(Church Wigan)