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March 13, 2005
Traveling On Your Knees
Last night I took a journey
to a land across the seas.
I didnít go by ship or plane
I traveled on my knees.
I saw so many people there
In bondage to their sin,
And Jesus told me I should go,
That there were souls to win.
But I said, "Jesus, I canít go
To lands across the seas."
He answered quickly, "Yes, you can
By traveling on your knees."
He said, "You pray, Iíll meet the need.
You call, and I will hear.
Itís up to you to be concerned
For lost souls far and near."
And so I did; knelt in prayer,
Gave up some hours of ease,
And with the Savior by my side,
I traveled on my knees.
As I prayed on, I saw souls saved
And twisted persons healed,
I saw Godís workersí strength renewed
While laboring in the field.
I said, "Yes Lord, Iíll take the job.
Your heart I want to please.
Iíll heed your call and swiftly go
By traveling on my knees."
We wonít read all of these verses but I want us to notice what power prayer had in the life of Peter and so hope to encourage us in our prayers for others.
Cornelius is a God-fearing centurion. Verse 2 tells us he prayed regularly. Verse 4 tells us that his prayers and gifts to the poor had come up as a memorial before God.
1. Consistent prayer garners Godís attention.
a. Martin Luther said, "To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
Chapter 10:9-15, 27-35
2. Prayer instructs our spirit.
a. In a scene from Shadowlands, a film based on the life of C.S. Lewis, Lewis has returned to Oxford from London, where he has just been married to Joy Gresham, an American woman, in a private Episcopal ceremony performed at her hospital bedside. She is dying from cancer, and, through the struggle with her illness, she and Lewis have been discovering the depth of their love for each other. As Lewis arrives at the college where he teaches, he is met by Harry Harrington, an Episcopal priest, who asks what news there is. Lewis hesitates; then, deciding to speak of the marriage and not the cancer, he says, "Ah, good news, I think, Harry. Yes, good news."
Harrington, not aware of the marriage and thinking that Lewis is referring to Joyís medical situation, replies, "I know how hard youíve been praying .... Now, God is answering your prayer."
"Thatís not why I pray, Harry," Lewis responds. "I pray because I canít help myself. I pray because Iím helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesnít change God; it changes me."
3. Prayer breaks down barriers.
4. Prayer furthers the Gospel.
5. Prayer can overcome any obstacle.
a. Ironic that this Herod was anxious to kill Christians around the Passover when Jesus had been crucified. And interesting to note that this Herod was related to Herod Antipas who had John the Baptist beheaded and allowed Jesus to be crucified. And it is also interesting to me that the best trained guards in the world, 16 of them, were helpless to prevent anything God wanted to accomplish just like the guards at the tomb of Jesus and they were all executed.
b. It didnít matter the prison, the guards, the impending trial, the shackles on his wrists or the iron gateóPeter was getting out of that jail.
6. Prayer answered is always greater than we can imagine.
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