Read Acts 3:1-6
1-4 One afternoon Peter and John were on their way to the Temple for the three o’clock hour of prayer. A man who had been lame from birth was being carried along in the crowd,for it was the daily practice to put him down at what was known as the Beautiful Gate of the Temple,so that he could beg from the people as they went in. As this man saw Peter and John just about to enter he asked them to give him something. Peter looked intently at the man and so did John. Then Peter said,”Look straight at us!”
5 The man looked at them expectantly,hoping that they would give him something.
6 “If you are expecting silver or gold,” Peter said to him,”I have neither,but what I have I will certainly give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,walk!” (JBP)
What we want is not always what we need. What we ask for in prayer is not always what we get. What we expect is not always fulfilled. This crippled man had settled into a routine of begging for money. The most he could expect was a few coins thrown his way. Doubtless that was the limit of his expectations of Peter and John.
He didn’t get any money as it seems they didn’t have any to give. Instead he got healed. He asked for some money and in return got mobility. Getting a few coins in his begging bowl might have given him some small encouragement,getting to walk again caused him to praise God extravagantly.
It is right and proper that we ask God for things in prayer. Yet we must be prepared that sometimes we might not get what we ask for and scratch our heads at the situation. At other times we might get a lot more than we expected,something of a different order altogether. Our prayer journey is marked by some puzzling withholding of what seems to be a good thing and a response that goes beyond our wildest dreams.
The crippled man hoped he would get something. What he got was more than he asked for or expected. Amidst all the other mysteries of prayer and expectation,never doubt that God can do more than we ask or imagine.