We Supposed There Was a Place of Prayer

Acts 16: 13 On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.[1]

Joyce Hayes Giles and Shelly Norman Hill place their feet in the river where Lydia and her family were baptised
Joyce Hayes Giles and Shelly Norman Hill place their feet in the river where Lydia and her family were baptised

This evening I am in Thessaloniki, Greece as part of a 55 person tour I am co-leading entitled, “In the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul.” This morning I led a devotional at the site of a river in the location of ancient Phillipi where it is believed that Paul performed the first baptisms on Christian converts in Asia Minor named Lydia and her family. As I have given it some consideration this is one of the most spiritually moving moments in my entire life.

There we were right at the little fast moving stream where Lydia was said to have been baptized. In my devotional I asked Equilla Wainwright, who is one of the members of the church I pastor, the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit, Michigan to read Acts 16 with the references to Lydia’s conversion. I spoke about the significance of her baptism and in particular, personal conversion. I also expounded upon Paul’s Letter to the Church at Phillipi as he waited under house arrest in Rome.

Equilla Wainwright read Acts Chapter 16 for our Travel Group prior to my mediation on the significance of Lydia and Paul
Equilla Wainwright read Acts Chapter 16 for our Travel Group prior to my mediation on the significance of Lydia and Paul

It has always fascinated me that Paul the evangelist, Silas and Timothy made their way to where they supposed people of prayer might be. The three evangelists guessed correctly. They found willing listeners and believers in Lydia and her family. Not only were they baptized, but Lydia offered her home to Paul and company.

This morning it really moved me to realize that I was teaching in the very spot where one of the greatest events in Christian history took place. Our group will spend tonight and tomorrow night in Thessaloniki, Greece. Sunday, we head to Rome, Italy.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post from Greece.

Prayer:

Lord, make me unashamed to witness for you. Lord, teach me to be unashamed to tell others about what you mean to me. Make me proud to tell your story, proud to share the marks on my body that I have born for you, and proud to be blessed by the touch of your hand. Give me your grace, give me your mercy, and endow me with your love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Hood at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ac 16:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.