Summary: We have an example in this text of the Local N.T. Church in Jerusalem in prayer during a time of crisis in their church. And we can see also in this text that their prayer was miraculously answered. Anytime a church is not experiencing souls being saved o
Illustration: There was a tenant in an apartment building who was a widow woman who loved God dearly. Her landlord on the other hand despised God and her faith. One day she ran out of food and money and with no one to help she turned to God in prayer. She prayed, “Oh dear God please help me in my time of need, I look to you and you alone to provide my needs, now please send me some food, for I’m tired and hungry. The landlord heard the prayer through the wall and though, “I’ll show her once and for all that God doesn’t care for her, that He doesn’t hear and answer prayers.” So he went to the grocery store and bought a bill of groceries and used his access key to get into her apartment and set the groceries on her dinning room table. When the woman came in and found the groceries she began to praise God and thank Him for answering her prayers. The landlord was listening and went to her apartment and told her she was a religious fool and that God didn’t give her the groceries he said, “I gave you the groceries.” No she said, “Your wrong and I’m right, God sent me these groceries even if He had to send them by the devil.”
INTRODUCTION: This event was during the Passover season. We see here that God does not always keep His people from suffering. James, the brother of John, had been killed by Herod. James was one of the inner circle, one of the three that we see together so much during the days of Christ on the earth. So, we see that God is not always going to keep Christians from suffering. 2Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (KJV) Now is the age for crosses, not for crowns.
Also, we see that God’s servants cannot be put to death until it is God’s will for it to be done. No man of God, in the will of God, can die until God wants him to die.
Herod supposed that these two, Peter and James, were pillars on which the church rested; and that, if these were removed, the building must necessarily come down. He didn’t understand nor know the power of a local N.T. Church. Mt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (KJV) Nor will the sword of Herod prevail against it.
We have an example in this text of the Local N.T. Church in Jerusalem in prayer during a time of crisis in their church. And we can see also in this text that their prayer was miraculously answered. Anytime a church is not experiencing souls being saved on a regular basis should be considered a crisis time.
I believe we can learn from this great example how we should pray here as a church.
1. THE PLACE OF PRAYER (v 12)
Ac 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
Mark’s mother’s house. Peter knew where to find the church. The people are the church, not a building. At that particular day the church assembled in Mary’s home, the mother of John Mark. During those days the churches didn’t have a building they met in. They went from house to house daily. Ac 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. (Apostolic Churches)
Even though it was not a building with a steeple and stained glass windows it was the meeting place of the church on that particular day. They prayed where they were assembled.
It was in a member’s home. I wonder if we could turn our homes into prayer stations like this home was.
Also, it is interesting to see that Peter was sleeping soundly while others in the city were awake in the night praying for his deliverance. When the church prayed great things happened and the entire city was aware of the results of the praying of the church.
2. THE PURPOSE OF THEIR PRAYER (v 5)
Peter’s release from prison. “….but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”
There was a crisis – a time of desperation – a great need for God to show Himself strong.
I want to challenge this church to make the prayer for the harvest of souls a matter of urgency in your everyday living. We need to pray on a more consistent basis and using every opportunity to pray for God to do miraculous things here in our presence.