Summary: Like Peter, many people today are bound in prisons: of worries and fears, addictions and compulsions, hopelessness, grief, bad relationships or poor finances. But just as Peter found freedom through passionate prayer, so too can we.
SUPERNATURAL #12: PASSIONATE POWERFUL PRAYER
INTRO TO TOPIC:
• Today’s message is important because it can encourage you in so many areas of your life:
• It is the story of someone who experienced a supernatural deliverance from prison.
One of the most eminent features of the early church in Acts is that they PRAYED.
• Acts 1:14 – the church was birthed by ten days of passionate, seeking prayer
• Acts 3:1 – Peter and John were going to church for the purpose of prayer
• Acts 4:31 – they prayed for boldness to preach, and they were filled with the Spirit
• Acts 6:4 – the apostles said they would focus on the #1 priority of prayer and the Word
• Acts 9:40 – Peter prayed and raised Dorcus from the dead
• Acts 10:9 –prayer opened the doors for the Gospel to be preached to the Gentiles
• Acts 13:3 – they prayed and fasted and sent Paul & Barnabas on a missionary journey
BACKGROUND TO THE STORY:
“Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover… [KEY TEXT]: Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant* prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” (Acts 12:1-5).
• Constant = earnest (NLT), strenuous (Message), fervent (NASB), without ceasing (KJV)
• However you want to say it, it was a powerful, passionate prayer!
• “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” (James 5:16).
THE BIG IDEA: Like Peter, many people today are bound in prisons: of worries and fears, addictions and compulsions, hopelessness, grief, bad relationships or poor finances. But just as Peter found freedom through passionate prayer, so too can we.
PETER IN PRISON:
“And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me." So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. And when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” (Acts 12:6-11).
1. Passionate prayer can bring light into the darkest situations.
“A light shone in the prison… and he said, Arise quickly!” (v.7).
2. Passionate prayer can set you free from bondages, worries and fears.
“Peter was bound with two chains between two soldiers… And his chains fell off his hands.” (v.7).
3. Passionate prayer can give you wisdom and direction for your life.
“The angel said, "Follow me." So he went out and followed him.” (v.8).
“So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. But they said to her, "You are beside yourself!" Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, "It is his angel." Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were AMAZED.” (Acts 12:12-16).
4. Passionate prayer will give you joy.
“because of her gladness… she ran in and announced…” (v.14).
5. Passionate prayer brings results even when we sometimes doubt.
“when they opened the door and saw him, they were AMAZED.” (v.16).