“’In the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet…walking and jumping, and praising God…all the people saw him…”
— Acts 3:6-9
I am challenged in my personal faith by this proclamation prayer, as expressed by Peter and John to this paralyzed man.
A prayer of proclamation is pronounced with a firm assurance in the power of the name of Jesus Christ with no doubts. I know the theology, the teachings, and balanced view of my tradition can make me feel trapped in the default position of expecting nothing. Lord, help me to pray prayers of proclamation like Peter and John, expecting the miraculous. Free me from my secure, middle-of-the-road stance.
A prophetic prayer gesture. Peter and John coupled their proclamation prayer with a prophetic gesture when Peter stretched out his hand to help the man up. I know there is no power in prophetic gestures, God will accomplish His work no matter what. However, I believe that we can reach out with a real prophetic touch that inspires hope, faith, restoration, and healing. Lord, help me to engage, with firm assurance, in gestures that communicate hope and healing in this suffering world.
A prayer witness. “…all the people saw…” (Acts 3:9). The Holy Spirit’s wondrous work happened within the public square. We must not contain our prayer witness within the church walls or our worship settings. Lord, you want to display your Kingdom power to all those who do not know you; those who are longing to know your power but don’t often see it in organized churches. Lead me to places and individuals needing Jesus, and give me faith and courage to deliver prayers of proclamation.
1. Do you have firm assurance in the power of the name of Jesus Christ to do the miraculous in people’s lives today? If not, ask God to help you in your unbelief.
2. Are there individuals in your life that need to experience Jesus’ power? Do you have the courage to boldly act when Jesus leads you to offer a prayer of proclamation on their behalf?
Francis Pearson is the District Superintendent for the C&MA’s St. Lawrence District.