The Word of Grace Devotion for The Week of June 18, 2018
Earnest Prayer Acts 12:5, “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.”
Beloved, it has been said that when man works, man works; but when man prays, God works! We have this great example given to us from Acts 12. Peter and the other apostles had been busy spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and had attracted the attention of King Herod.
Herod Had, “killed James the brother of John with the sword, 3and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.” It was certainly a time of testing for the early church and they passed the test.
The church went into action by praying! They didn’t plan to break Peter out of prison by swords but by prayer. They met corporately to pray for the release of Peter and he was set free (Acts 12:11).
Beloved, the church did not just pray but the church prayed “earnestly” for Peter’s release. The word “earnestly” here is a compound word in Greek. It has two parts, the first part meaning “out” and the second part meaning “stretched.” It's the idea behind our English word for tension. It's translated in 1 Peter 1:22 as deeply or fervently, and it's used in Luke 22:44 where Jesus prays “in anguish” and “more earnestly” in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The image given is of focused and passionate prayer, coming to God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, and saying, “God, I mean business! I want what I'm asking of You; I'm not just going through the motions.”
Those of us who have children may remember a time when a little one's temperature rose to 102, then to 103, and then to 104. You may remember how our prayers changed as the temperature went up. Have you ever sat there with a little baby who's burning up? We don't pray, “O Lord, we would really like, if it's in Your will, according to Your sovereign plan, to bless this child according to Your purposes,” do we? We pray, “O God, save my child!”
That's what this word “earnestly” is saying: We need to come to God like we mean it. We need to know Who we're really talking to, and then earnestly-with our soul stretched out before God-to say, “God, hear our cry.” Beloved, God does business with those who mean business!
Beloved, there is power in prayer! Remember, when man works, man works; but when man prays, God works. If you have the opportunity, please join us on either the first Sunday of the month @6:00PM or the first Wednesday of the month @6:30PM for corporate prayer. There is power in prayer!
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
In Jesus Love-