We read Old Testament Scriptures, study New Testament Gospels, observe feasts and holy days, but it is prayer that connects us with the throne of God. It is an invisible bridge that connects humanity to its Creator and God to the entirety of His creation. I have heard it said “prayer changes things,” I know it can and does. Also, I believe prayer changes you and grows your faith empowering you, the believer, to change things. Especially, sincere prayer—in the spirit it is an inside out activity that allows the light to shine upon the dark places in every Christian’s life.
A couple of weeks ago the modern church observed the death, burial and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Imagine what was happening to the church in Jerusalem two-thousand years ago and to the disciples of Jesus shortly after his resurrection. Peter finds himself in prison on trumped-up charges, the Jewish mob and Temple leaders are feeling triumphant, King Herod reigns supreme in Israel and the possibility of martyrdom is on the minds of the followers of Jesus. “But prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” What was the outcome of those prayers?
The entire church body prayed for Peter, not just his fellow disciples or a chosen few, and that is the way is must be today. As a member of the Church Body of Jesus Christ we recognize and humble ourselves to operates a part of the greater whole to the benefit of one and many. The church prays unto God the Father, the great provider, the protector; “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory” and none other. We pray for him and her, whichever one of our brothers or sisters that are standing in need that is who we, as a body, are to pray for. It is good to intercede individually, but I believe it far more effective to intercede collectively.
Our God is more than a god of answers, He instructs, He assures and He delivers the outcome that He promises. In a moment of great distress and extreme danger from outward and inward enemies, prayer can set an angel before you to open the doors of the prison and set you free. The Jews could not explain it. Peter, sleeping between two soldiers was bound with two sets of chains, while the chief jailer kept the keys of the prison and in spite of these earthly safeguards, an angel of the Lord came upon him and set him free. How could this be?
“Whatsoever ye ask in My name, shall I do for thee.” Prayer works wonders, it can bring relief in the deepest and darkest hours of despair, and prayer can force a passage through iron bars and locked gates. Do you really understand the power of our most powerful weapon? Do you have the courage to use prayer like a sculptor uses a mallet and chisel to remove the undesirable to create his desired outcome? God does not call great men and women, but He does call men and women who will not hesitate to prove the greatness of their God.
Prayer is more than a one way conversation it is a two way-two party opportunity; an opportunity for the praying saint to acknowledge the power and sovereignty of God and an opportunity for God to display His power, kindness and mercy. “And when Peter was come to himself, he said, now I know of a surety, that the Lord has sent his angel, and has delivered me out of the hands of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews” (Acts 12:11).Peter used his prayer opportunity to acknowledge God and to assure himself of God’s gift of freedom and life.
Under no circumstance are you to place limits on God, not by unbelief, doubt or delusion that you know what He can, will or will not do. Expect the unexpected, expect great things. Above all that we ask or think, think of what God cannot do, He cannot lie and He cannot fail. What can prayer do for you? All that God can do for you, more than we can ask or imagine. But prayer is our way of connecting and staying connected with God in His glory. “And he, beckoning them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison” (Acts 12:17). Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- You Are Meant For Greater Things Than This (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)
- Praying in Faith (thomasmasonjr.wordpress.com)