Summary: Today I would like to speak to you about an aspect in our Christian life that oftentimes is underestimated and neglected by a large number of believers. What am I talking about? I am talking about our prayer life.
Today I would like to speak to you about an aspect in our Christian life that oftentimes is underestimated and neglected by a large number of believers. What am I talking about? I am talking about our prayer life. As I have said in other occasions, a great reality about human beings is that we are impatient. We want what we want right now, we want everything Polaroid camera style, we want to see everything instantly. The problem that exists is that although prayer can work in this fashion, in a great percentage of the times it does not. But we can be sure of two things, and those are that prayer is the most powerful weapon in the universe, and that the prayer of all faithful believers will be heard by God. But like I said, this aspect of our Christian walk oftentimes is underestimated and neglected by many, and that is why we always experience those strange looks whenever we say to some one “I am going to pray about that.” Therefore, today let’s examine that portion of our Christian life that perhaps may be weak, or neglected. Today we are going to examine a historic event that will reveal to us three blessings that unleashed in the life of every believer through prayer. These three blessings are: peace, liberation, and miracles. Let’s now turn to the Word of God.
Acts 12:1-16 - Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 5Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. 6And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. 7And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. 8And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. 9And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. 10When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. 11And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the LORD hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. 12And 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. 13And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. 14And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. 15And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 16But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
As I always say, to reach a better understanding of the message that God has for us today, it will be necessary to conduct a brief review in history. With this purpose in mind, let’s now briefly examine king Herod’s family line a little closer. Herod the great was the king that ruled during the time of the birth of Jesus and tried to kill Him. This was the king responsible for the most horrible crime that we can find in history. This was the king that order that all children under the age of be put to death in the Bethlehem area. This is something that has for ever been recorded in history, and we find it in Matthew 2:16 when we read “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.” After him, Herod Antipas ascended to power, and this was the king that ordered the decapitation of John the Baptist, so that he could give it to his daughter as payment for a dance. This is something that was also recorded in history, and we find it in Matthew 14:6-9 when we read “But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. 7Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. 8And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. 9And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.” After him, Herod Agrippas ascended to power, and was the king that ruled during Peter’s time. This more or less brings us to this point in history. This king was highlighted by his immense hate of Christians, and his intention was to eliminate them all from the face of the earth. This is why we see that he killed Jacob son of John. This event is something that is declared very clearly in the verses that we are studying today when we read “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.” Why is it so important that we know these details? These details are of the utmost importance because in them we can appreciate the constant confrontation that exists between good and evil, and the unceasing attack by Satan against the believers. Therefore, with this in mind let’s continue with our message for today.