September 1, 2019
Sermon Title: "If the Church Would Just Pray"
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Acts 3:1; Matthew 23:37; James 5:14-18
Scripture Text: Acts 12:5
"Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him."
"If the Church Would Just Pray"
In the text, we find something taking place that seems to be missing in many churches today - that is church members praying for church members.
In this particular case a church member is in trouble.
The Apostle Peter is on death row and all petitions to commute his sentence have been exhausted. But I've come to tell you that prayer changes things. Prayer changes people and circumstances.
When all else fails.. . . pray.
In the early church, corporate prayer was the standard. The early church is a model for the church of today.
Do you remember when the saints would come together (not for chatting and chewing the fat) - but for the purpose of getting down on their knees in prayer for one another, their churches their families and their communities?
So often today, we find that many church people are only concerned about themselves and their own problems - and when they do visit each other's houses the conversation is more about everybody's business than it is about petitioning God. But in Act 12:5, we find a church praying "without ceasing" for one of their own. The Bible says that, "the prayers of the righteous availeth much."
The early church knew how to get in touch with God.
And because they knew how to get in touch with God - and because many people were being healed (through prayer) of sickness and disease, and because many were being delivered from the bondage's of sin, the early church grew!
If you want your church grow... pray more!
It always amazes me how Christians can pray for something or someone that is somewhere else and expect an answer, but they don't expect an answer when they pray for things at home!
We pray for Africa, and we believe God moves in Africa .
We pray for India , and we believe God moves in India .
We pray for Iraq , and believe that God is moving in Iraq .
We pray for those who are in the hospital and we believe that God moves on those people in the hospital.
But, many people are afraid to pray that God will move right now, right here where they are!
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:
Number one: He stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church
Number two: Herod did was: He killed James the brother of John with the sword.
Number three: Herod locks up Peter (the one who become the head of the church.)
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