Verse 5: “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him”.
While in the country of Chile preparing for a message that I was to preach at a church there, the Lord deposited a word into my spirit that I believe to be so true.
It was a powerful statement that opened up my eyes a little bit more with regards to the power of prayer. This is what the Lord said, “Music moves people, preaching moves people, but prayer moves the hand of God”.
I began to see how the church all over the world is giving little, if no attention, to prayer.
The church has been so consumed with music, praise and worship as never before, people will travel and pay money to go to a music concert or to a conference that shows them how to do praise and worship, in some cases churches will dedicate entire services to just singing and hearing music. Though music is and should be a vital part of our churches and our services, it is not music that will bring breakthrough, victory or revival to the church. Music moves us to praise and worship God and many times will be a vehicle to soften our hearts towards God, but that is all.
Genuine praise and worship many times will be the result of Revival but it is not the root of the Revival or of victory.
Preaching is an art that has lost its power and has been replaced by pop psychology, humanism and feel good talks, people will travel to hear a man preach a message that is entertaining and that tickles their ears and thus be moved to a certain emotional state.
Even when they do hear a true anointed man of God preach the word they are moved to repentance by the word.
I am a preacher of the Gospel and it is my desire that every time that I preach the word of God under the anointing of the Holy Spirit that people will be moved closer to God, it is my desire that those that are lost will be moved to a state of salvation, those that are in sin would be moved to a state of repentance, and those that are lukewarm will be set on fire for God. How we need this kind of preaching today more than ever before in the history of man kind, preaching that moves us.
So preaching moves people.
Prayer, which is the topic at hand, moves the hand of God. Thank God for anointed music, thanks to God for preachers that are anointed, but oh how we need prayer to come back to the church; the kind of prayer that moves the hand of God favourably upon His people.
In my text we see the state that the church was in, Christians where being harassed by King Herod, Johns brother James one of the disciples hand been killed by the sword and Peter the leader of the early church is in prison surrounded by 16 soldiers waiting execution. We can easily say the church is under attack, the devil with all his efforts is trying to stop the work of God and destroy it.
We see in verse five, what the church resorts to in the face of such great tragedy.
The verse says: “but constant prayer was offered to God for peter by the church”.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how things looked or how they felt, the church was praying and God’s hand was getting ready to move in a miraculous way on their behalf.
The time has come for the real church of God to rise up in this generation and put a BUT
in the situation that we find ourselves in.
The world has crept into the church, holiness has gone out the door, the church has become a circus in many places and the fear of God has been lost.
There is a desperate need like never before for Revival. In the face of great apathy and indifference to the presence of God in the church and with the apostate church growing and false doctrine rampant it might be easy for the true church of God to look around and think what can we do?
We must do what the early church always did, we must do what Christians have always done in times of great apathy and apostasy and that is to get on our knees and start to pray like never before and we will see just as the church in this passage saw, the mighty hand of God move favourably on our behalf. Amen.