‘…so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”’ Acts 9.38
This urgent request was because a wonderful Christian named Tabitha had become sick and died. Distraught at her death, the disciples heard that Peter was near and so they sent for him in haste. We are not told what was going through Peter’s mind at this point - did he know that he was expected to raise someone from the dead? Did he have any idea of the situation to which he had been summoned?
What we do know is that Peter responded and as soon as he got there we are told that he prayed. It is a simple detail but it says so much to us. We are often caught off guard, either presented with unexpected circumstances or walking into situations that are humanly beyond our experience, strength or capability. We would like to think that the first thing we would do would be to pray, but all too often our first reaction is to panic or to doubt. We need do neither.
It is likely that as Peter prayed, he caught a vision of what he should do and this is what he did – and God was glorified. It is OK to panic as long as panic leads to prayer, but it is through prayer that wisdom will come about what to do next.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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