The Prelude to an Open Door
On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: ~Acts 10:9
Every Christian believes in the importance of prayer. We know that payer is a vital part of our fellowship with God. Jesus taught “that men ought always to pray and not to faint.” Paul taught that “men should pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands.” Prayer is the means by which the hand of God is moved to work in our behalf. Prayer is the golden key that opens the door for God to answer our requests. This morning, let us see the importance of prayer as the prelude to open doors from God.
We see the sight.
“And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.” Peter was praying on the housetop of Simon the tanner at the sixth hour, or twelve noon. He was feeling hungry, but kept on praying. As he prayed, he saw a common vessel descending from Heaven, filled with unclean beasts and creeping things. It was a sight or vision that caught his attention. It was a sight that was unusual and unexpected. Prayer is the means by which God gives His servants a vision of things that could be and should be.
We see the summons.
“And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.” Peter was in awe at this sight. He hardly had time to ask what it meant when God called out to him in a distinct, familiar voice to get up, kill, and eat. A summons from God is a command that must be obeyed. When God issues a summons, He is not asking for our approval, but, rather, our compliance. The summons from God is direct, distinct, and our directive.
We see the security.
“But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” Peter was perplexed by what he saw and was commanded to do. This summons went against everything ingrained in him as a Jew. However, God did two things to give Peter confidence in the Lord. The first was the fact that God gave His approval to Peter. What God gives His blessing and approval to, we must not react or treat it as common or profane. Second, God repeated this vision and summons three times in the same manner. God never leaves us confused or bewildered when He calls us to do something for Him.
We see the sending.
“While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting noth