Prayer & Giving

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    Acts 10:4, “Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.”

    Theological Reflection

    Cornelius was a centurion in the Italian Regiment, he was a devout man who along with his household feared God.  He gave alms liberally to poor people and prayed constantly to God.  There is no record that Cornelius embraced Jewish law; or that he worshipped the Jewish God.   He could have belonged to a group of Gentiles know as the God-fearers (gentiles who worshipped the God of the Jews but did not become proselytes).   

    At the time this verse is written, it does not appear that he had any knowledge concerning Jesus Christ.  Perhaps, he heard things about the Messiah, as news about Christ we spreading across the land, but no direct knowledge.

    Because Cornelius is an exceptionally good pious man; it seems that his conversion was a response to his behavior. Cornelius’ behavior, that is, his giving and praying for the poor, becomes a memorial before God. Thus, an angel appears and instructs him to send for Peter.  With Cornelius, we get the first recorded conversion of a Gentile to Christianity.

    Prayer Reflection

    Lord Jesus you said, “The poor you will always have with you.” And so, Lord Jesus we pray that you would create in us a clean heart, a heart that will lead us to the path of humility.  Lord, we need you, Lord, we love you.  Please Lord, bless us to transcend our understanding, and with all our heart, acknowledge you. 

    Give us wisdom, the wisdom that compels us to pray in season and out of season.  Bless us with your Spirit, and teach us to care for the poor, to care for the entire human race.  Lord Jesus, be lifted up in our lives, so that, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters, and neighbors would be drawn to you. This is our pray, in Jesus name. Amen.