Devotionals by Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we supposed that some people met for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had come together. - Acts 16:13

Lydia, a Jewish proselyte, a seller of expensive purple cloth, was accustomed to going to the place by the river where the Jews met for prayer and joining the worshipers. We learn that “she was a worshiper of God” (Acts 16:14).

We also can learn a valuable lesson about the sort of prayers God heeds and answers. Lydia was heard by God. Prayer precedes conversion; God hears the prayers of a grandmother concerned for her grandchild, a husband concerned for an unbelieving wife, or simply the prayer concerned for himself—as in Lydia’s or Cornelius’s case. It’s important to encourage people who are seeking a relationship with God to pray, because prayer also prepares the heart to receive the living Word of God. Paul, having had a vision of a man from Macedonia asking him to “come over here and help us” (Acts 16:9), found instead a woman who was waiting to listen at the place where prayer was made. He lost no time sit-ting down and explaining the gospel to Lydia. I love Paul’s flexibility!

Prayer truly prepares the heart. The Lord opened Lydia’s understanding, and she “accepted what Paul was saying.” After she and her household were converted, she begged Paul and his friends to stay with her. The beautiful story of Lydia reaffirms our belief in the power of prayer. We are reminded that prayer precedes conversion, prepares the heart, and stimulates us to ministry.

For Further Study: Acts 16:11-15 

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.

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About Telling the Truth

Telling the Truth exists to make available sound biblical teaching, practically applied, with a view to producing lives that glorify God and draw people to Christ. The whole of our ministry is to encourage, console, strengthen, teach, and train.

About Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

Stuart Briscoe uses wit and intellect to target your heart, capture your attention and challenge you to grow! You will find his logic compelling as he brings a fresh, practical perspective to the Scriptures. Born in England, Stuart left a career in banking to enter the ministry full time. He has written more than 50 books, received three honorary doctorates and preached in more than one hundred countries. He was senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for thirty years, and currently serves as minister-at-large.

Jill Briscoe was born in England and found Christ when she was 18 years old. She never looked back. Upon graduating from Cambridge University, she began working as a teacher by day and had a vigorous street ministry to the youths of Liverpool by night.

She met Stuart at a youth conference and they married in 1958. In the 50 years since, Jill has become a highly sought-after Bible teacher and author who travels around the world ministering to under-resourced churches and speaking at international seminars and conferences. Since 2000, she and Stuart, who was formerly senior pastor of Elmbrook Church for 30 years, have had the joy of equipping and encouraging believers across the globe in their roles as ministers-at-large for Elmbrook.

Jill has authored more than 40 books including devotionals, study guides, poetry and children's books. Her vivid, relational teaching style touches the emotions and stirs the heart. She serves as Executive Editor of Just Between Us, a magazine of encouragement for ministry wives and women in leadership, and served on the board of World Relief and Christianity Today, Inc., for over 20 years.

Jill and Stuart call suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin their home. When they are not traveling, they spend time with their three children, David, Judy and Peter, and thirteen grandchildren.

Pete Briscoe, youngest son of Stuart and Jill, was also born in England but grew up under his father's ministry in Milwaukee. While getting his Masters of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL, Pete had a professor tell him that it was "a sin to bore people with the Bible." He has taken that to heart as he has served since 1992 as senior pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX. Pete and his wife, Libby, have three children.

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