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God Answers a prayer: The Story of Cornelius and how his prayer was answered

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 Picture of Centurion

cornelius 1.1.mp3

 This story is found in the Book of Acts in the Bible. The Book of Acts tells us what Jesus disciples did after Jesus was crucified, rose from the dead and went back into heaven.

Cornelius was a centurion in the Roman army. He was stationed in the city of Caesera. He had probably grown up with people who believed that there were a lot of gods but when he was sent to be with the Jews he started to believe that there was only one God. At this time he did not know about Jesus.He and his family worshiped God regularly. He gave money to help the Jewish people and he regularly prayed to God.

But Cornelius was not a Jew and they would not let him go into the temple. This probably made him feel sad. Perhaps he even thought that they would not let him worship God properly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision and saw an angel. The angel said,"God has heard your prayers and he knows that you give money to help the poor. Now send a message to Peter who is staying in Joppa and ask him to come and see you." Cornelius immediately sent some men with a message for Peter.

Now Peter was a Jew and he did not know if God wanted him to take the message of Jesus only to Jewish people or to other people also. God helped him to see the answer to this question. While he was praying he felt hungry and fell into a trance.

Picture of animals on the sheet. 

cornelius 1.2.mp3

He had a vision and in the vision a great big sheet was lowered to the ground. On the sheet he saw all kinds of creatures that walked or crawled or flew. A voice said to Peter, "Get up. Kill and eat." Peter saw that many of these creatures were animals that Jews were not allowed to eat.

Peter said, "I have never eaten anything like these. They are unclean."  But the voice said, "It is not for you to say that something is not clean if God says it is clean." This vision happened three times. 

Peter was puzzled about what it meant. It seemed that God was telling him to break one of the rules that Jews were supposed to keep. After a time the messengers arrived from Cornelius.


Peter knew what the vision meant.

 God wanted him to break the rule that said it was only Jews who were important.  He wanted him to take the message of Jesus to Cornelius and to other people who were not Jews.  Peter went back with the messengers to Caesera. He talked to Cornelius and his family who all became followers of Jesus.  God had answered the prayers of Cornelius.

Earlier pages on prayer      Other stories from the Book of Acts.

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