Today’s reading gives us a compelling example of what can happen when we follow Jesus in public through praying together with one another. Lydia overhears and is so struck by the experience that she and her household get baptised and she sets up a ‘Prayer B&B’...
Lydia wasn’t cornered and put under pressure. Her heart was opened and she was eager to listen. Prayer is open to everyone; nobody has a monopoly on it.
Are there ways we can pray in a public — that won’t alienate others — but instead draw them in?
May our generosity be like Lydia’s and prevail upon others.
May our prayers be loud enough and compelling enough
and quiet enough and relatable enough
that they welcome and
make room for others.
May our prayers be like welcome mats:
scruffy and dogeared
but pointing people towards home.
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. 14 A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15 When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.