Prayer is a recurring topic for our church currently. Dave spoke from Acts 12:1-17 last night about what happens when a church prays. Here, the church was praying for Peter who was imprisoned by Herod. To their surprise, God worked in the supernatural to release Peter from imprisonment! Prayer not only changes situations, but changes us!
Do we really believe great things can happen when we pray? 2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us of the part we have to play (to humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face) and the part God plays (pouring out blessing and healing). God hears us when He prays; He actively listens to us (Ps 116:1-2).
When we pray,
1) the supernatural happens. Peter was guarded by 16 soldiers and was shackled in chains, but he walked free from the prison!
2) the surprising happens. The church, despite their prayers, were surprised when Peter arrived back at the house of prayer. So often, we pray in half-faith, not really expecting God to do what we are asking!
3) the saving happens. Deliverance happened to Peter and as we pray, deliverance and salvation will be seen. In past revivals, there have always been those praying faithfully for the preaching of the Word as people are being saved. Do we pray for this too? Do we take the responsibility to pray for our meetings, for those bringing the Word to us, for those listening to have open hearts and listening ears?
Acts 12:5 tells us the church was earnestly praying for Peter. They were fervently praying and persevering in prayer. We need to seek God with all our hearts (Jer 29:13) and pray without ceasing. There needs to be personal prayer and corporate prayer (see Matthew 18). Let’s rededicate our prayers lives to the Lord and really pray.