On Collapsing the Triangle of Prayer?



Acts 3:6–8 (NIV)

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of 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 and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.


“The Spirit of Jesus in me greets the Spirit of Jesus in you and brings us together in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.”

Peter and John had seen Jesus do this many times. They had perhaps practiced doing it with him a time or two. We have it on good evidence they had also tried such things without Jesus close by and failed in the past. Acts 3 gives us our first real test. And let’s be clear—it is not so much a test of the newly minted apostles as it is a test of the ascended Jesus and the efficacy of the Holy Spirit. Something tells me the Holy Spirit brought this promising word from Jesus to their minds and imaginations.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).

Get it in your mind’s eye now—face to face, eye to eye, and heart to heart—Peter, John, and the beggar who was lame from birth. I almost called him “nameless,” but then I remembered he had a name. We just don’t know it. 

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

Now, what most fascinates me about this scene is what didn’t happen—which is what I might have done. Here’s how I would have handled it. I would have said something like, “Sir, could we pray for you?” Then after getting his permission, “Sir, would it be okay if we put our hands on your shoulder as we pray for you?” Then I would have said something like this,

“Father, thank you for this man who is your beloved son and we ask you today in Jesus name to heal him and help him and bless him. Holy Spirit, would you be poured out and released into his body for supernatural healing. Yes, Lord, we are asking for a miracle today for this dear man in Jesus’ name, Amen.” 

Did you notice this is exactly what did not happen here? Here’s how they prayed:

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

Here’s the difference. My prayer happens in a triangle. I am at the left base vertex. The person I am praying for is at the right base vertex. Jesus is at the top vertex. The apostles’ prayer collapses the triangle. Peter and John stand at the left base vertex. The beggar lame from birth sits at the right base vertex. Where is Jesus? He is ascended at the right hand of God, yes. Here’s the big change. On the day after the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brings Jesus Christ of Nazareth into the very physical bodies of his followers—from the upper vertex of the triangle to the ground level base. In other words, the Holy Spirit collapses the triangle.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

The implications of this are vast. It will take us at least another day to begin to plumb them. For now, I want you to ponder them. 

Still day one. 


God our Father, who with your son Jesus Messiah, fills us with the Holy Spirit, thank you for the miracle and the mystery of the day of Pentecost. And thank you for today, and that it is only the day after. This is more than a little bit mind blowing. Holy Spirit would you open my heart and mind to this new way of prayer; indeed this New Testament way of prayer. I know you hear all prayers, but there is something about this that intrigues me. Praying in Jesus’ name, amen. 


What do you make of this way of prayer—of collapsing the triangle and going directly across the base of it? What implications do you begin to see? 

P.S. Update on My Dad

So I came to Arkansas on Monday for the week to help out with my parents and Dad’s recovery. Today we went for the follow up visit to the doctor. Good News: The pathology report was completely clean. Cancer Free!! Praise Jesus and thank you for your prayers. My Dad says especially to thank you all for your love and prayerful care of him through these difficult days. I thank you too! 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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  1. Praise God for the Good News about your Dad’s healing!
    Some times God doe’s use the prayers of His Saints to heal through the operation of trained professionals, like with your dad. At other times, we can hear or sometimes witness healings like the one described here in Acts. So what’s the difference? I believe that Peter received within his spirit that this man was chosen by God to be miraculously healed at this time. We will see that this event would be a prelude for bigger things to take place. I do not believe that our own abilities are the reason for either success or failure, it’s all about God’s will and purpose. Our part is to being open and yielded to God’s still small voice.

  2. I’ve wondered myself about our prayers. I’ve done it myself – felt like I need lots of word to explain ‘exactly’ what I am praying about/for. Almost as though if I don’t get it word perfect it won’t be understood or heard. Or that my words must be very grovelly when asking for anything. Yes we should approach God on our knees but this is in relational reverence and worship of a bountiful father, not as though we are approaching a fickle king.

    Praise Jesus! Wonderful news about your dad.

  3. Praise Jesus for your dad’s good report! I am a speech pathologist and currently work with many patients with head and neck cancer. Please let me know if can help with any questions.

  4. Even when you feel
    Like your prayers don’t go
    As high as the ceiling
    That’s okay because
    The Spirit of Christ is,
    Lower than the ceiling,
    Working inside His followers
    And actively revealing
    His presence and power
    On our level.
    In the name of
    Jesus Christ of Nazareth
    Rise up and walk in His Spirit!

  5. Glory to God for the good news of no cancer! May your Dad go from strength to strength in his recovery, in Jesus’mighty name!

    Collapsing the triangle definitely has me thinking and seeking…

  6. Thank you for your comments. I very likely would have asked for permission to pray with an individual, as a way, at the minimum to respect their dignity and choice. For an interesting take on this, I would highly recommend the book “My Body Is Not A Prayer Request” by Amy Kenny.
    Great news regarding your father, thanks be to God!