Acts 10:1 In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2 He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said. 4 Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering!
There are certain laws that God has established to govern the natural world and because of the consistency of these laws not only do they get results but they demand results.
- Gravity – gravity, also called gravitation, in mechanics the universal force of attraction acting between all matter.
- Thermodynamics – everything will one day fall apart, the natural force of decay
And the same way God has established laws to govern the natural world he has also established spiritual laws to govern the spiritual realm.
The 2 spiritual principles that Cornelius was practicing that drew the breakthrough from the supernatural to the natural were Prayer & Generosity
When it comes to prayer the why is more important then the what.
It’s the why we pray that takes us past the religious traditions to passionate intimacy that allows us to know the God we serve in a deeper way.
Why we pray
- To know God
When we know God is a deep intimate way, we get to know His character and the more we know His character the more we can walk in total trust in the God we serve.
Many know about God, but never come to a place of intimately knowing God in a personal way. (Matt 7:21)
Before sin came into the world man knew God in an intimate way, but when sin came into the world we were separated from the privilege of intimacy with the father, but when Christ died on the cross he re-opened the opportunity and privilege for us as his people to return to an intimate place of knowing God the father. (Genesis 3, Matt 27:51, Heb 4:4-16)
Paul understood this that’s why he said: (Phil 3:8)
2. To be aligned with God
Prayer allows us time with God where we surrender our will with His will, Our ways with His ways. (Luke 22:42, I Peter 5:7)
True prayer is entering into a place of true trust where we walk away from that time of intimacy with God, with a true confidence and assurance that everything is in God’s control.
In Acts 10 both Cornelius and Peter were in prayer and God was aligning them with His will and His ways that would result in revival taking place within the gentile nation.
Corrie Ten Boom (Women who helped Jewish people in the Netherlands during the holocaust) – “The more I pray the more coincidences seems to happen”
3. To be empowered by God
The last thing that happens with a person of prayer, they walk with a supernatural ability to live out the life that God has called them to. (I Cor 15:10, Col 1:29)
Andre Murray – “When I work I work, when I pray God works”
The second quality that Cornelius practiced with in his life that positioned him to be the vessel God would use to birth revival to the gentile nation was the quality of generosity.
“What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering!
As we learned last week, spirituality and generosity work together.
When a person has a true breakthrough with in their life they begin to take on the characteristics and qualities of God. (Ezekiel 11:14-21)
They transform from a taker to a giver. We can see this transformation in the life of Zaccaus (Luke 19:1-9)
Cornelius modeled both spirituality and generosity and through his life revival took place in his household and his community. (Acts 10:1-48)