1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 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. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.6 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.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
From the fact that the Lord wanted us to observe the appointed hours, we deduce that the church needs certain disciplines. Even to this day it is helpful for us to have such daily meetings, if we are not too idle. As the apostles went to the temple at the time of prayer, so we must take every opportunity to advance the Gospel.
We see how God healed this man in an unexpected way. He received what he didn’t dare to ask for. This is the beginning of our calling. We who have already learned to pray to God in faith still do not always feel our miseries, and so we do not seek any remedy. But the Lord still brings the remedy even when it is not looked for. No matter how we pray, God exceeds the hopes of our petitions with his goodness.
Whatever God has given to us should be used in God’s service to show love. When God’s Word is preached, it penetrates people’s minds; and God gives us things he has promised in his Word. First of all he speaks through a human voice and brings us to obedience; then he moves our hearts by his inner Spirit so the Word can be deeply rooted in us; and finally he reaches out his hand and completes the work in us.