Sermons

Summary: Prayer is powerful

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PRAYER

Illus:

The year was 1820 and Peter Richley was a grateful man. He had survived one of the strangest and most harrowing events known to mankind. The ship which he had been traveling on sank. He was rescued. By some strange twist of circumstance, however, this ship sank.

He was rescued again. But, this third ship sank likewise. He was rescued for a third time. Yet, his fourth ship of passage soon sank. And unbelievably, he was rescued for a fourth time, but this fifth ship sank as well.

It would have been laughable had it not been so serious. On the high seas, however, he floated with the serene confidence that somehow God did not want him to die. And sure enough, as if on cue, another ship came by and answered his call for help.

This ocean liner, The City of Leeds, was named after it’s British city of orgin. It was bound from England to Australia and traveled the same sea lane as Peter Richley’s downed ships. The crew of The City of Leeds hoisted Peter aboard. Dry clothing was provided to Peter. The ship’s doctor gave him a cursory exam, pronounced him fit, and then asked an unusual favor.

There’s a lady on board who booked passage to Australia, the doctor explained. She’s looking for her son who disappeared years ago. She’s dying and she’s asking to see her son. She knows everybody on board and since you’re the only newcomer, would you pretend to be her son?

Peter agreed. After all, his life had now been saved for the fifth time. He followed the doctor below deck and entered into a cabin. There on a small bed lay a frail woman with silvered-hair. She was obviously suffering from a very high fever. Deliriously, she was crying out. Please God. Let me see my son before I die. I must see my son!

The ship’s doctor gently pushed the young man toward the bed. Soon, however, Peter Richley began sobbing. For lying there on that bed was the reason that he couldn’t seem to die. Here was the lifeline that had kept him from drowning five times. For lying on that bed was none other than Sarah Richley who had p...

Scripture:

Text: MARK 11: 22-26

22 Jesus told his disciples:

Have faith in God! 23 If you have faith in God and don’t doubt, you can tell this mountain to get up and jump into the sea, and it will. 24 Everything you ask for in prayer will be yours, if you only have faith.

25-26 Whenever you stand up to pray, you must forgive what others have done to you. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.[d]

Acts 12:5 5 While Peter was being kept in jail, the church never stopped praying to God for him.

Sermon intro

Here Peter is waiting for whatever Herod may have in store for him. Escape by his own means is not an option. He is being guarded by 16 soldiers that work 6 hour shifts in fours. One soldier is chained to each side of him and the other two are standing outside the cell to make sure he can’t get out. Not only that but there are multiple guard posts and locked gates that must be passed in order to get out of this prison facility. Fortunately Peter didn’t have to rely on his own means. There was a group of believers fervently praying for Peter’s release. Let’s look at six aspects of the power of prayer as we find them in this passage.


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