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« Kept From Christ | Main | The Power of the Logos »

The House of Prayer

James 5:16-18  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.  17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

Matt 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

The Scriptures are filled with exhortations and commands to pray:

· Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, “you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”
· Psalm 10:17 says, “You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,”
· Isaiah 30:19 “The Lord will hear your crying, and he will comfort you. When he hears you, he will help you”
· Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
· Psalm 91:15 God Himself says, “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

The need of the hour is powerful, persistent, passionate, prevailing prayer.

  • The need is far greater than most of God’s people realize.
  • The moral fiber of our nation has crumbled.
  • Real love and compassion have become almost non-existent.
  • Confusion and upheaval have swept across this country like a tidal wave.
  • Even the so-called religious community is showing some alarming signs of spiritual ambiguity.
  • According to Barna Research, A minority of born again adults (44%) and an even smaller proportion of born again teenagers (9%) are certain of the existence of absolute moral truth.
  • If ever Christians needed to learn to prevail in prayer, it is now.


It has been said that, “Seven days without prayer, makes one week.”
Sometimes you hear someone say, “We’ve done all we can.
The only thing we can do now is pray.”
Prayer really should be our first resort rather than our last resort.

When prayer fails, Satan prevails. The demons of Hell rejoice when the child of God is prayerless. Satan knows well that prayerless Christians are powerless Christians.
Christians are embroiled in one of the most heated and holy battles of all time the battle against the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph.6: 12b). If we are to prevail, we must fight the good fight of faith; we must pray. The souls of lost men and women literally hang in the balance. While lost souls teeter-totter on the brink of destruction, Christians are largely unconcerned and prayerless.


· We should be like the 3-year-old boy (that Paul Harvey told about) who went to the grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she said to him, “Now you’re not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so don’t even ask.”
· She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little child’s seat while she wheeled down the aisles. He was doing just fine until they came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up in the seat & said, Mom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies? She said, I told you not even to ask. You’re not going to get any at all. So he sat back down.
· They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. Mom, can I please have some chocolate chip cookies? She said, I told you that you cant have any. Now sit down & be quiet.
· Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest voice, In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?
· And everybody round about just laughed. Some even applauded. And, due to the generosity of the other shoppers, the little boy & his mother left with 23 boxes of chocolate chip cookies.

There is great power and great deliverance (possible) through prayer.

· Moses prayed and God spared Israel from judgment.
· Joshua prayed and God caused the sun to stand still.
· Samson prayed…and God gave him back his strength.
· Hannah prayed and God gave her a baby boy – the prophet Samuel
· Solomon prayed and God gave him wisdom.
· Elijah prayed and God sent fire down from Heaven.
· Elijah prayed…and it didn’t rain for 3 1/2 years… he prayed again…and it rained.
· Elisha prayed…and God gave life back to a dead child…
· Jonah prayed and God brought him out of the belly of the whale.
· The thief on the cross prayed, and God gave him eternal life.
· Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God…and the prison they were in was shaken and the jailer got saved!

There is a powerful example of prayer in Acts 12

1 Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword.
2 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread.
3 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people.
4 So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.
5 On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison.

The church was positioned amidst people who were hard-headed and hard-hearted…
They either killed or stoned the preachers… in fact, they killed Jesus!
And now.. the disciples were supposed to go there and start a church? It was a hard field to work!

For the early church, there were problems from within:

  • The treasurer of the church (Judas) had been stealing money & had finally committed suicide.
  • The most prominent leader of the church (Simon Peter) had denied the faith & that he had ever known the Lord.
  • They were commanded by the officials that they were not to teach or even speak at all in the name of their founder (Jesus).
  • Hypocrisy and lying had been discovered in the membership of the church which threatened the power of their witness.
  • There was racial strife which caused a murmuring in the membership
  • Their favorite and most faithful deacon (Stephen) had been murdered.
  • There was a government hit-man (Saul of Tarsus) who was tracking down members of the body.
  • There was conflict over who the gospel should be given to. Peter had broken with tradition and was preaching to untouchables.
  • Now, Peter had been put in prison and Herod was planning on killing him to make a bunch of rich Jews happy.
  • It was a messed-up situation!

But let me just tell you that: As long as the devil is permitted to live the church will have problems!

  • That’s why, as God’s people, we must learn to pray in the midst of problems!
  • As God’s people we must continue to minister in the midst of trials and tribulations!
  • We have to follow Gods Word in order to overcome problems!
  • The devil is going to attack the church, you can be sure of that, but praise God: “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world!”

Yes… in the midst of problems we can keep going.
In the midst of problems we can say: “But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

But the church prayed through its problems.
You ought to turn and tell somebody today, Whatever problems we have, we can pray through them!
Notice what they were doing here in Acts 12:

They were praying and they all had insurmountable problems.

A mad-man, named Herod, was terrorizing the Christian community. He had already done three (3) things:

He stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
Not all of the church, just some of the church: those who were trying to be about a good work.

He began by afflicting them, imprisoning them, fining them, spoiling their houses and goods, and other ways tormenting them. And it was all because they belonged to Christ!
I need to tell somebody, If folks are persecuting you, its probably because the devil is mad at you for trying to be about a good work and he wants to discourage you
But don’t you quit… just keep praying … and count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

He killed James the brother of John with the sword

James was one of first three of Christ’s disciples. He was one of those who witnessed Jesus transfiguration. He was one of those whom Christ called the Sons of thunder.

Let me encourage anybody who’s being vexed by the devil in the church. Your vexing may be evidence that you have a powerful anointing on your life and satan wants to take you out!


Thirdly, Herod locks up Peter (the one who become the head of the church.)
The one who would go on to preach one sermon that would result in 3-thousand souls being saved!
The enemy always likes to attack the head. The devil knows that if he can kill the head, the body will fall!

Peter was in Prison.

And while he was there, the Church Prayed.  When the Leaders got in trouble, the Church called a Prayer Meeting. Not a Business Meeting to dismiss the leadership, but a Prayer Meeting to Pray for the Leaders. Now, I would love to hear of a church in the absence of its Pastor, calling a Meeting Just To Pray! Not to Vote. Not to carry on Foolishness. But Just To Pray! That’s why I need every one of you to pray for me! Your pastor needs your prayers! Your church needs your prayers!

Despite the outward attacks and the internal tension,

This is no time to quit!
This is no time to run and hide!
This is no time to disband the church!
AND it sure is no time to fire the preacher and hire a diplomat! It’s Time To Pray!

The night before Peter was to be put on trial, he was asleep and bound by two chains.  A soldier was guarding him on each side, and two other soldiers were guarding the entrance to the jail.  But suddenly (everybody say suddenly) that’s the way God shows-up! Is there anybody here who’s ever been in trouble and it looked like you were going down, but suddenly God showed -up!

Suddenly, an angel from the Lord appeared, and light flashed around in the cell.  It was dark, but God shed light on Peter’s situation! The angel poked Peter in the side and woke him up. He woke Peter up, but he made the guards fall into a deeper sleep. Then he said, Peter… quick! Get up! The chains fell off his hands, and the angel said, Get dressed and put on your sandals and your coat. 
Get-up Peter! I hear God saying to someone tonight who feels trapped… Get-up! Get up and look up! … Look towards the hill from whence cometh your help… your help comes from the Lord! The irony of this story is that it turned out much differently than anyone could have imagined.

Luke begins telling this story by simply stating in one sentence that James had been put to death by the sword.  Then in the next sentence he said Peter was arrested.  Now as we read only those two sentences, we can imagine what is going to happen next.  But it turned out much differently than we or they realized.  Even Peter said that it tuned out differently than he imagined.  Peter said that it turned out differently than Herod had imagined.  Peter said it turned out differently than the Jews had imagined.  The people at Mary’s house were astonished at how it had turned out.
And all of these responses were before the whole story had been told.  Peter’s escape was not the end of the story.

First there was the escape, but then there were the guards. We’ve talked about the term REIMAGINE in recent months. Peter had to reimagine his circumstances. Who could have ever imagined that while Peter was being guarded by sixteen soldiers until his death that they would be the ones who would die and Peter would go free?  Who could have imagined that?  Then there was Herod.  Who could have imagined that after he had successfully put John to death, that he would fail with Peter?  Who could have imagined that after he had arrested Peter and was waiting for his death, that he himself would die just a few months later?  Who could have imagine that he who had put James to death by the sword would die by worms?  Who could have imagined that?  Who could have imagined the ironic twists this story would take?  Who could have imagined that any of this would turn out the way that it did after we read of the death of James and the arrest of Peter?

But that’s not all, look at verse 24 where we see

The result of the story…
Acts 12:24, But the word of God continued to increase and spread.  Who could have imagined that after the first three verses of this chapter?  Who in their wildest of imaginations could think the church would grow after reading the first three verses of this chapter?  We, like they, would have expected and predicted gloom and doom for the church but that’s not what happened! Praise God!  Once again, God turned what looked like the worst into good! It is just kind of stuck in there by Luke, but I believe this is what made the difference in the outcome of the story!

Acts 12:4-5, After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

There’s the difference: “but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.”

Mary was earnestly praying to God for Peter.   Rhoda was earnestly praying to God for Peter.   John Mark was earnestly praying to God for Peter.
Barnabas and Saul were earnestly praying to God for Peter.  Many other people were earnestly praying to God for Peter at Mary’s house.  The other apostle named James was earnestly praying to God for Peter.  Other brothers mentioned in verse 17 were earnestly praying to God for Peter.  What made the difference? The church was earnestly praying to God for Peter! 

Now listen to Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”

The church was earnestly praying for Peter, but they had no idea how this was going to turn out.  They were earnestly praying for Peter, but when he showed up at the door, they thought Rhoda was out of her mind they weren’t even hoping for his release.

  • We don’t know what they were specifically praying for, we just know that they were praying earnestly for him.
  • We know they weren’t praying for his release because of their reaction when he showed up they were astonished.
  • They didn’t have any idea what God would do, but they were praying earnestly!
  • And because they prayed earnestly for Peter, God did immeasurably more than all they asked or imagined!
  • Because they prayed earnestly for Peter, God did immeasurably more than all they could ask or imagine!
  • They prayed earnestly for Peter and God did more than they asked or imagined by sending an angel to miraculously get Peter out of the chains, out of the cell, and into the prayer meeting!
  • They prayed earnestly for Peter and God did immeasurably more than all they asked or imagined by getting the guards put to death instead of Peter.
  • They prayed earnestly for Peter and God did immeasurably more than all they asked or imagined by freeing Peter from the sword and feeding Herod to the worms!
  • They prayed earnestly for Peter and God did immeasurably more than all they asked or imagined by causing the church to grow as a result of all this!
  • And all Gods people said. (“WOW!”)

In order to have God’s Power in, We Must Have An Effectual Prayer Life.

I submit to you that basically Acts is an account of A PRAYING CHURCH.

Some Wonderful Things Happened When This Church Prayed.
Some Marvelous and Great Things Occured when All of the Members of this Church got on One Accord and Prayed.
For when this Church Prayed, an Earthquake Shook the Building.
When they Prayed, All Believers Were Filled With the Holy Ghost.
When they prayed, They Began to Witness Boldly.
When they Prayed, the Church Had Great Power, and Great Grace was upon Every Member of This Church –

When They Prayed, Some Wonderful Things Happened!
And I’m Led of the Lord to believe that God’s Power Is Released In and Thru A Praying Church.

The Power of God Operates Through A Praying Church. Signs and Wonders, Salvation and Healing, Praise and Adoration, all take place within the context of A Praying Church.
The pattern that we find in the Early Church is that They Prayed and Prayed Often! It’s time for the Church to enter into the Spirit of Prayer, to rediscover the prayer meeting. Just as individuals are to pray, we are to pray as a church body.
A Praying Church is a Worshipping Church. That congregation that does not worship, does not pray! But if we pray, prayer will spawn spontaneity in worship.
A Praying Church is a Soul Winning Church. The reason converts are not won to the Lord is the church is not praying for the harvest. A church that is praying is going to win souls to the Lord.
A Praying Church is also A Giving Church.
So, there is only one real problem in every church and that is: To Get All the Members of that Church On Their Knees Before the Lord.

All of Us Ought To pray. There ought not be One Soul who does not pray, when the church comes together for prayer. We all ought to be saying:
· “Pass me not O gentle Savior,
· Hear my humble cry;
· While on others Thou art calling,
· Do not pass me by.”
Prayer is the secret of every Pentecostal Blessing. For every Pentecostal Experience, Prayer is the Secret. If you want Pentecostal Boldness, Pray! If you want a Pentecostal Experience, Pray!
The Holy Spirit Will Work in Miraculous Way in New Mercy, When We Pray! For when God is in a place, Something Miraculous Happens.
God’s only question is: “Is anything too hard for Him?”
When God Comes In, The Work Takes Off, and we will never be the same! For if we Pray, We Will Praise. If We Pray, We Will Witness. If We Pray, We Will Worship. If We pray, We Will Give. If We Pray, We Will Be Spiritual. If We Pray, We Will Evangelize.

You can pray…

  • For the will of God
  • Abounding love
  • Increase of knowledge
  • Against affliction
  • Against sickness
  • For salvation
  • For a door of utterance

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Reader Comments (2)

Brethren,Ive been under sever attack by satan and his puppets for 17 monthes.I hate to ask GOD to avenge me but this kind of thing will destroy alot of innocent people!!!Pray for me and others that may go through this.They do things like this because they think there will be no retribution!!!"The LORD executes justice for all the oppresed" Please help! JIm w

November 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjim

אתרי הכרויות
הכרויות בחינם
אתר הכרויות

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterדייט

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