Summary: Have you ever wondered why some churches seem to get their prayers answered while others do not? In this passage the church is praying for Peter’s deliverance from the clutches of Herod. These were people who realized that every good thing comes from thei
1. Have you ever wondered why some churches seem to get their prayers answered while others do not? In this passage the church is praying for Peter’s deliverance from the clutches of Herod. These were people who realized that every good thing comes from their heavenly Father. They were all mindful of what Jesus said,
"If you abide in Me and my word abides in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you." (John 15:7) They knew the power of corporate prayer as they remembered Christ’s promise, "If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven." (Matt. 18:19)
There is amplified power in the cooperative prayer of committed believers. Corporate prayer helps us edify one another while helping to multiply our intercession, supplications, thanksgiving and praise.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you learn how to cooperate with a group of prayer warriors for the mutual benefits of the church and its members. The book of Acts could be called the Acts of Prayer or the Acts of the Holy Spirit. Let your legacy imitate their prayerful example.
2. The apostles prayed with fervent faith. With their leader in jail awaiting execution, the apostles prayed with fervent belief that God could deliver. Pray with confidence in God’s power to deliver, rescue and renew. The Lord wants us to pray in faith without doubting.
Application: Do not be like some churches whose doubts cause them to be driven and tossed about in the winds of changing circumstances. Ask God to help you to pray with assurance that God will do great things through your corporate and individual prayers.
3. The apostles prayed specific prayers that avoided any ambiguity. Ask the Lord to help you pray specifically to do things that can be a demonstration of His power, glory and deliverance. Be sure to record your prayers and their answers as a way of building a testimony to the great things God has done and is doing in your midst.
4. The apostles prayed for God’s best timing, way and empowerment according to the will of God. These were people who knew that Christ also died in the Fatherâs will. They were not afraid of death, but nevertheless they asked God to deliver Peter and He did. They prayed, "Your kingdom come and Your will be done." Do not presume on God to do anything that suits your own plans, desires and time schedules. Our goal is to fit into His plans not to invent our own.
5. The apostles did not always pray alone, but in a group to encourage, strengthen and instruct one another. Group prayer and praise brings many multi-faceted benefits to every participant. Never underestimate the capacity of group prayer to bring about alterations in individual desires to conform to the best direction for the unity and growth of the church.
Application: Ask the Lord to allow you to schedule a time of regular intercession with people who are of like heart and mind. People come together best when they know there are goals, concerns and needs to be mutually presented to the throne of grace so WE may find grace to help in our time of need. (Heb. 4:15)
6. The apostles did not cower to the pressures, threats and intimdations of wicked authorities. Ask the Lord to help your people to not get distracted by the worries, riches or pleasures of this life. Often, people who are too distracted to pray together live lonely lives.
Application: Trust God to help you settling for second best answers to prayer because of a refusal to pray in harmony with other growing Christians.
7. The apostles prayed with patience knowing that God could do all things and no purpose of His could be thwarted. These were people who realized that God could deliver Peter or He could allow him to be put to death as James was. Pray with total dependency on the sovereign will of your heavenly Father.
8. The apostles set a pattern and precedent for how group prayer should be done throughout the ages. Understand that your group patterns have great effects on those around you.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to follow the formula of regular group intercession for Godâs help in all aspects of life and godliness.