Like Never Before
When he (the lame man) saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said , "Look at us." And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, "I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began praising God. Acts 3: 3-8 (NRSV)
Linawati Santoso comes from East Java, Indonesia. Linawati often thinks her family's situation will never change. They will never have their own home, their brother will never recover from mental illness, and they will never be free from their financial difficulties. One day a friend said to her, "Lina, you should pray like never before." Lina thought, What does he mean "like never before"? Should I begin praying with my eyes open rather than shut? Should I pray standing rather than sitting? Later she came to understand that "like never before" means she should pray with full trust in God. Rather than looking at her family situation as something that will never change, she should look to God, who has the power to change everything.
"Like never before" reminded Lina of the lame man at the temple gate, thinking he would never be able to walk, much less jump. Then one day he met Peter and John. Instead of giving the man money, Peter said, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Immediately the man "Jumped to his feet and began to walk."
The power of God and the faith and witness of Christ-followers like Peter and John can assure Lina that when she faces a situation that she thinks will never change, she can pray "like never before" and put full faith in God, whose power can change everything.
Prayer: Almighty God, in difficult situations help us to trust that you can do miracles like we have never seen or heard of before, in Jesus' name, amen.