September 22, 2020
It is said of Martin Luther that he dreamed he was transported to heaven and there noticed thousands of boxes with his name on them. When he asked the angel what they were, the angel replied, “These are answers to prayers that have never been asked.”
God has much more for us. He reminds us that “we have not because we ask not” (James 4:2).
AN IMPOSSIBLE DELIVERANCE
The wicked King Herod had Peter imprisoned and was preparing for his execution. He placed a whole squadron of men to guard him (16 men). Peter had chains on his hands and feet. But God had other plans … plans that were released by a fervent step by a small church.
So Peter was kept in prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. (Acts 12:5)
The next verses record the miraculous intervention of God. God dispatched an angel who entered Peter’s cell. Light shone, Peter was awakened, the chains fell off his hands, and the angel led him right out of the prison as the iron gates opened by themselves.
THE SIMPLE KEY
… was the prayers of God’s people, for prayer bring God into the equation. But not just any prayer. Their praying was ...
It is not the norm in most churches to pray for impossible things. Theirs was a big, bold prayer for God to do something that could only be explained in terms of Divine intervention.
Their praying was not random or general (“Lord, bless all the missionaries”). But it had Peter’s name on it. Random prayers get random responses. Specific prayers clarify our faith and give God great glory when specifically answered.
“was being made”
We must not pray lightly and sporadically. Their prayer was continuous. They prayed when it seemed impossible and kept praying until it was accomplished. They prayed through.
Some pray as if the house was not on fire. These people knew that someone’s life was in danger and only God could deliver … and deliver He did.
“by the church”
There is something irresistible to God about united prayer. If you want great things to happen, unite with others.
There was (and is) only One that can do the impossible. Only God can deliver an imprisoned man. Only God can save people. Only God can deliver someone who is in great bondage.
And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared … and his chains fell off his hands.
God loves to answer bold, united prayers prayed in faith. The Acts disciples had a small faith, evidenced by how amazed they were that Peter showed up at their door! But it was faith, nonetheless, placed in a God who can move mountains.
How tragic it would be to discover in heaven that we could have experienced so much more. That our fervent prayers could have released hundreds in bondage.
Father, help me to pray big, audacious, bold prayers. Show me those who are in bondage. Let me unite with others to please for their deliverance. And then, God, show Yourself mighty to save so that You can receive all the glory and lives can be changed!
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