An Extraordinary Hour
We have recently seen how much can change from one day to the next. Currently, we are experiencing unprecedented change on an hourly basis in this 21st century. The outbreak of the 2019 Coronavirus has reminded us that an 'ordinary hour' can quickly become an 'extraordinary hour.' Not only daily, but almost hourly we are bombarded with updates that are hard to process.
I recall to mind the passage of scripture in Acts 3, which records the first miracle of physical healing for the New Testament church. In this passage Luke records Peter and John approaching the Temple “at the hour of prayer being the ninth hour.” Commentator Adam Clarke indicates that: the ninth hour would correlate to 3 PM and the Jews seemed to have three hours of the day designated for public prayer. (See Psalm 55:17 and Daniel 6:10.) It is also important to note that Peter mentions the third hour of the day (9 AM) when preaching on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2, when he stated, “these are not drunk as you suppose seeing it is the third hour of the Day.” (Acts 2:15)
The timeframe listed in Acts 3 seems to be a common or ordinary thing for the Jews in the book of Acts. It would also seem that the hour of prayer was not just for Peter and John, but possibly other Jews gathering at the Temple to offer prayers or observe Temple rituals (Evening Sacrifice etc.) This busy intersection was also where they carried the lame man who was “Lame from his Mother’s womb.” He was at the gate “Beautiful” asking alms, and typically at this hour would ordinarily receive a little bit of money to help in his disabled condition. This 'ordinary hour' of prayer was about to become an 'extraordinary hour' for both the Lame man and the Apostles.
“And Peter fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.” (Acts 3:4-5). Peter’s famous words “Silver and Gold have I none” was not what the lame man was expecting to hear. Typically, at the hour of Prayer he received a sum of money. But on this day, at this hour, he received more than silver and gold. He received his healing, because two men took the time to stop what they were doing, and extended to him what they had to offer. They offered him the changing power of Jesus Christ. “…In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” (Acts 3:6-7).
Brothers and Sisters, we may be in an extraordinary hour, different from any we can remember. However, instead of meeting the “Extraordinary Hour” with an “Ordinary hour of Prayer”, we must ask God to perform like he did for Peter and John. Let us have the Extraordinary ‘Ninth Hour’ of God’s power being poured out. In my mind, Peter and John did not anticipate that days’ events, but they seized the opportunity to make a difference.
Yes, it is an 'Extraordinary Hour', but we have Extraordinary power through the name of Jesus Christ. Consider Peter’s words: "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole" and "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:10, 12)
- Brother Jordan Riley