Summary: When we pray God moves in a supernatural way
2 December 2015
GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WEHEN THE CHURCH PRAYS
Key Scripture: Acts 12:1-24
Prayer carries a wonderful privilege with it. God has opened the door to His throne and invited us to come to Him by way of petitioning (Heb 4:16) God hears us when we call to Him and answers us when we pray in accordance with His will. (Jer 33:3, 1 Joh 5:14-15). There are many privileges and promises associated with prayer. Prayer is also a very powerful attempt on our behalf to reach a certain goal.
Everyone of us has experienced the power of personal prayer. We have experienced times where we have called out to God in the secret place of prayer and He has heard and answered us in power, not for our glory but for His. There is something special when you enter God’s presence for yourself and you talk to Him in secret. It’s something we should all do and do often.
There is power when the Church prays together as a corporate body. There is a special dynamic that comes into play when the Church comes together united in faith and purpose to seek God’s face in prayer.
Let’s look at this passage as I share some truths on the subject great things happen when the Church prays.
1. Acts 12:1-5 The Church had its problems
1.1 There were attacks as James had been beheaded by Herod and Peter was on death row awaiting his own execution. The Jews hated the gospel and so they pressed these attacks against the Church. Herod persecuted the Church as it gave him political advantage
1.2 There was apprehension as the Church didn’t know what the future held and as a result of this fear and concern came upon them regarding the future of the Church. The people left their Jewish roots to follow Jesus.
1.3 There was and still is an adversary. Herod killed James and arrested Peter and this brought pleasure to the Jews. Both of them were responsible for the persecution but they were merely instruments in the hands of Satan. He hated the church, the gospel and the Lord that they served and we still have the same problems today. If there was a time where the Church should be united in prayer, it is now.
2. Acts12:5 – It was a time of prayer
There is a word in verse 5 that makes a difference, the word but. The situation is desperate, but! Peter might be put to death, but! When faced with overwhelming problems the Church called out to God and prayed. Let’s examine their prayer
2.1 It was fervent prayer. When we apply fervency to our prayers, it is a picture of the Church pouring out their hearts towards God as we seek Him to meet our needs.
2.2 It was faithful prayer. By this I mean they prayed and believed God would hear them as prayed for Peter and faith makes the difference between answered and unanswered prayer.
2.3 It was focused prayer. Their focus for the prayer meeting was Peter. When we ask God for specific needs in prayer and He answers, it brings glory to Him, assures us of our relationship with Him and our faith is increased. When you pray, be specific.
2.4 It was family prayer. The Church had gathered to pray for one of their own. They sought God’s help for a brother in need. How much time do we spend praying for other people? People that may be facing a life threatening disease? Those are the people that we should be touching heaven for. There are others who are lost. We should be touching heaven for them. People that are struggling with needs, burdens and problems are the people that we should be touching heaven for. Your brothers and sisters in Christ need you to touch heaven on their behalf.
3. It was a time of power
3.1 Acts 12:5-24. It was a time of powerful salvation. God intervened and saved Peter’s life because of the Church praying and asking Him to
3.2 Acts 12:12-17 There were powerful surprises when Peter arrived at the house where prayers were being offered.
3.3 God proved sovereign over Herod and over the outreach
We need to be people that grab a hold of God as individuals and as a Church. The only way things will change is if we as a Church come together in unity and seek God in prayer because great things happen when the Church prays. Let’s see what happens when we pray.