Summary: Prayer is something everyone has heard of, but few really understand the benefit and relationship that comes with it.

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P.U.S.H. for Prayer

Acts 12:1-17


I want to look at prayer this morning.

Prayer seems like an easy thing. Everyone knows to pray.

My question to you.

Are you praying? Do you see results from praying? Is it building a relationship with the Lord?

Just recently a pastor from Gettsysburg, Pa., Rev. Gerry Stoltzfuz (Freedom Valley Worship Center) was asked to open the Pa. Senate. He had to submit his prayer, and when he did, they asked him to omit “In Jesus name” at the end. He says that he tried to make it generic enough that no one would be offended. He refused to eliminate In Jesus name and they said that he could not do the prayer. The news media got a hold of that and senate was pressured to let him do the prayer. Over 800 e-mails came in .

This was his opening line before the prayer.

“I am painfully aware that there are many here today who have embraced a belief system other than mine. I am not here to say that everyone ought to believe as I do, reading slowly from a prepared statement. “But I can only pray to my God. If you believe in some other power, I invite you to address yours as I address mine. He concluded after his prayer, “For those of us who are Christian, we pray in Jesus name.”

Touched by an Angel t.v. series in 2003 was taken off the air because they used the term God too much.

Doctors that pray are ridiculed by their colleague for swaying from science.

Prayer appears to be easy thing to do, but when you do it, someone wants to critique how you do it.

Prayer comes in a giant package:

From people who say for you to name it, claim it,

Have faith enough that God has to answer your prayer in your manner, because that is God’s character

All the way down to people who say prayer should never be public, and it must be private.

Does anyone care what God says about it?

After all He is the one were praying to, or talking to. Praying is talking to God, it is not about miracle formulas or buzz words that force God’s hand.

He does give us a model for prayer when his disciples asked him how to pray. Matt 6. Luke 11

“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, your kingdom come, your will be done.

You know the prayer.

Jesus taught them a principal of prayer. We love to quote the verse for prayer.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Hallelujah. Where do I sign up Lord. Let me get my list.

(V11)- “which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

That’s right Lord Amen I know Lord you won’t give me anything bad.

( V13)- “If you then, though you are evil, known how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him.”

Jesus isn’t saying that everything you ask for will be given.

He isn’t saying that his hands are tied by some formula of manipulation.

He says here that if you are asking, seeking, knocking that our gracious and loving Father will give you His promised Holy Spirit. (That should be a big Amen .)

You cannot pray correctly without the Holy Spirit.

You cannot have direction, guidance, wisdom, and persistence, and you definitely can have no power without the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Now the text.

Peter is in jail. The church is praying for him, and God shows up

Acts 12:1-17 Read

You see what just happened here. The church is earnestly praying for Peter to be spared. God does a tremendous miracle on their behalf, and they stand at the door looking at Peter. They stand there in disbelief.

Locked in jail with 16 guards around him.

It is the power of God that provided Peter’s escape.

It is the power of God that sent that angel.

It is the power of God who loosed those chains.

It is the power of God that opened that gate.

By Peter’s own admission, he was not sure it wasn’t a dream. Until it was all over and he was standing outside the prison.

Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod’s clutches.

It was the power of God

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