21.   Health Benefits of Prayer

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Source: American Journal of Epidemiology – Men between the ages of 42 and 77 who lacked close friends or a social network and did not attend religious services had significantly increased risk of death from heart disease.

Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT) Acts 10:23-24 stated, “23 So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa. 24 They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.”

Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – Peter had been staying at the house of Simon the leatherworker. Peter continued to remove barriers: not only was he staying in a place that his prejudices would have previously prohibited (see Acts 9:42-43), he went a step further by inviting Gentiles into that home to be his guests. This kind of fellowship would have been unacceptable to a strict Jew. A sheet had been let down from heaven, and Peter’s eyes were being opened.

Peter was wise to take with him some other believers from Joppa (six believers, according to Acts 11:12). Some things, particularly changes as radical as Peter suspected were on the horizon, were better observed firsthand rather than explained secondhand. Possibly Peter knew that it was easier for him to accept this new Gentile openness to the Gospel because he had been present at the “Samaritan Pentecost” (Acts 8:15-17). If God were truly doing something new, it would be best that other believers could see it as well. The eagerness and expectation of Cornelius was obvious, for he called together his relatives and close friends, probably many, considering Cornelius’s reputation for kindness and piety.

THE PRIORITY OF PRAYER by Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries https://www.intouch.org/watch/the-priority-of-prayer