Devotional By: Dr. M. A. Thomas
“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (Acts 12:5).
The early church had no silver and gold; they did not have influence or power. They knew only one thing and that was to come together to pray in one accord. This was the weapon they used for every problem.
Acts, chapter 4: When Peter and John were being persecuted and threatened the believers would gather and pray. As a result, boldness was granted to the apostles to preach, and the number of disciples multiplied. When they had problems inside the church, it did not stop them from praying and reading the Scriptures.
Acts, chapter 7-8: The persecution increased through Saul of Tarsus. Again, the church and apostles continued in prayer and preaching. Saul became a believer and began to preach the Gospel. When persecution began, there was always only one solution – PRAYER! They prayed without ceasing because they found prayer to be the way to be free from all the problems. As a result of all that prayer,
- The angel of the Lord came and released Peter out of chains and prison.
- Soldiers who guarded him were executed.
- King Herod was beaten by the angel of the Lord and died.
- The preaching of the Word grew and multiplied.
Acts, chapter 12: King Herod continued to persecute many Christians because it was pleasing to the Jews. He killed James the apostle; arrested Peter and kept him in prison to be killed. But when the persecution was severe they all came together and prayed in one accord.
The prayers of the church have great power! Prayer delivered God’s people from much trouble, their enemies were destroyed, and the Gospel continued to spread. Fervent prayer was followed by victory throughout the history of the church.
We need this in our churches today!
“Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:3).
The church in Antioch also fasted! They laid hands on Barnabas and Paul and sent them out to preach the Gospel. THIS is the work of the church – to fast, pray and send men out into the world. But today many churches have silver and they spend their time fighting for more.
The church of Jesus Christ must go back to fasting and prayer. We must go back to being united in prayer. United, we must then cover every hour of every day in prayer. Our churches must also be fully engaged in sending men out to share the Gospel!