‘... indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’–Acts 27:24
Acts 27 presents a spectacular story of intercession, divine intervention and miraculous saving of human life. The Apostle Paul is being transported by ship to stand trial before Ceasar in Rome. He has known since chapter 23 that he will arrive in Rome and bear witness of Christ there. Though not afraid to go to Rome, Paul is strongly prompted that they should postpone this leg of the journey until calmer weather prevails after winter. While preparing to depart from Fair Havens, Paul shares that there will be loss of the ship, cargo and lives. However, the captain and owner of the boat overrule, and they set out on a perilous adventure.
Although starting in their favor, conditions quickly deteriote. Soon they are powerless to control the ship as a huge storm propels it forward. The sun and stars disappear for many days. Eventually every last person on board loses hope of surviving. Paul is not eating, evidently fasting and praying. Even the sailors stop eating, whether to busy to do so or perhaps trying to earn a miracle themselves.
Then an angelic messenger appears to Paul one night and tells him not to be afraid. He says that Paul must be brought before Ceasar and that “God has granted you all those who sail with you.” Paul shares this incredible message with those on the ship, and it happens exactly as he said. Though the ship itself wrecks, all 276 people on board are spared.
Think about the power of the words “God has granted you all those who sail with you.” Paul goes into the journey with the sense that many will perish, yet he intercedes for the Lord to spare lives. God answers those prayers by announcing that He would grant this saving of life to Paul. What kind of prayer moved God to reverse situations like this? Paul went from a foreboding about losing lives to seeing every single person on the ship saved. It is staggering to think that God granted the answer to those prayers to such an outstanding degree. Every single life saved would have been a miracle, yet God made it 100 percent. He truly is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we ask or think.
This makes me wonder: with whom are you and I journeying through life? Family members? Neighbors? Coworkers? Enemies?
For whom are we asking God to intervene and eternally save? Are we praying petitions that God will be happy to grant?
Paul made a life-saving difference with his prayers. Will we?