Cornelius had a vision of an angel and the Lord told him to call for Peter. Cornelius sent a soldier and two servants to go find Peter.
There are many lessons that can be drawn out of this story in Acts 10. Let’s focus on this one: Peter went up on the housetop to pray – the secret place! In his personal prayer time with Jesus, Peter saw an open Heaven and a vision. The Lord communicated His plans and purposes with His friend Peter. As a result of this God encounter, Peter went to Cornelius’ house and preached the Gospel to the Gentiles, a hinge point in history. All because He heard from the Lord!
We learn from Peter’s open heaven encounter that prayer is more than just going to God with our wish list and saying, “My name’s Jimmy, so gimme, gimme, gimme!” It’s about having intimate fellowship with Jesus where He communicates the Father’s loving heart and divine purposes for our lives.
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6
God is calling us to seek His face in the secret place of prayer. He wants us to shut the door to all of the distractions in our lives. There is a magnet on the inside of us that is longing to connect with our Creator. When people turn to drugs, alcohol, or sexual relationships, they are trying to find satisfaction and fulfilment. However, this can only be found when we draw near to Jesus!
The whole story of the Bible is God longing for a personal relationship with human beings. From the first words that God spoke to Adam and Eve in Genesis when they sinned, “Where are you?” to the words of Jesus to the church in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” God wants our hearts!
When we pray, we are spending time with our loving Heavenly Father. The more time we spend in the secret place, the more we learn to hear His voice. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27). God is calling us to return to our first love; to the secret place of prayer.
When we neglect our personal quiet time with Jesus, and don’t meditate on His love, that’s when we get disappointed and lose hope. Respond to the call of Jesus to meet with Him in the secret place of prayer! Get alone in your prayer closets until you’re not alone anymore…