Summary: Extending our Arms to the community will mean making time and taking to for prayer

Make Time Take Time

Extending your Arms in Prayer

Acts 12:5-16

July 01, 2011 5:53 PM


Off-duty cop rescues family asleep during house fire

A Midland County family escaped a house fire last just after midnight. No one was injured, although the family lost everything. They are now staying with nearby family.

The father and two young kids were at home asleep at the time of the fire, but were woken up by an off-duty police officer.

Who saw the fire and automatically responded. The automatic response of one save another.

What if our prayers are supposed to work the same way. They are our automatic response that moves the kingdom of God.

Imagine what would happen if prayer became our first response in every circumstance.

The early Church appears to have developed prayer that way.

Luke remembers a number of examples of prayer being the first response of the church. Turn with me to his second book written to his friend, Theopolis, ACTS

Acts 12:5-17

New International Version (NIV)

5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.

8 Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

11 Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen."

12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, "Peter is at the door!"

15 "You're out of your mind," they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, "It must be his angel."

16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. "Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this," he said, and then he left for another place.


1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

* King Herod violent against the church

* James is put to the sword (v.2)

* It was deemed favorable by the opposition.

* Peter arrested and sentenced to die (v3)

Herod was charged to keep peace in the region to stay in favor with the Roman gov. Rome demanded peace and quietness at ANY cost. So Herod saw what a commotion was going on with the church and saw that the religious leaders were creating a movement that was disrupting the pax romana.

So after killing James, and finding it approved he has peter arrested during one of the holidays, confines him to prison and sentences him to die within the week.

Extending our arms in prayer will mean . . .

Developing a discipline of prayer

IN USCG, throwing a monkey fist heaving line. Is used by search and rescue boast to pass a larger twoign line to to a disabled vessel in high seas. First you made you own, soaked and stretched the line, tied a monkey fist knot, dipped it in red paint. Then you practiced throwing it. We use to set up a bucket it in the yard outside the boatswain's shop and we practiced throwing the line so it would fall within arms reach of the bucket.

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