August 12, 2021 New Generation Grace Ministry Devotional : Topic – The power of Corporate Prayer.
New Generation Grace Ministry
Thursday August 12th, 2021
Title: The power of Corporate Prayer.
( Acts 12:1-18) It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John,put to death with the sword.When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews,he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.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. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.” When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.
In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.
Why did God allow James to die and miraculously saved Peter? These are mysteries that happen in life that sometimes we don’t understand. Why are some children born disabled and some are born to be genus, why are some people die young and some die at their very ripped old age? These are questions that man cannot answer but God has answer for them all. God is the creator of mankind, He knows the end from the beginning but we don’t. He has chosen to allow evil to take place in this life. But In the face of suffering and pain remember that God has promised to destroy all evil and make everything right when Jesus returns. He is able to use our present suffering to make us strong , and to glorify His name.
James and John were the two disciples of Jesus who were among the twelve disciples, at a point they asked Jesus for a special position in His kingdom, but Jesus promised them that they would suffer with him. ( Mark 10:35-45) . What Jesus told them came to pass , because Herod executed James, and John was exiled. (Revelation 1:19) .
Now Peter was in prison during the Passover celebration. Herod planned to execute Peter just like he did to James, but the body of Christ was praying for Peter’s deliverance. The fervent prayers of the church turned Peter’s story around. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Peter and brought him out of the prison, loosened his chains and broke the legal protocols and got Peter out. The Bible says that when Peter was in prison he was even sleeping. How did He get the nerve to fall asleep when there was imminent danger? He was rest assured that the church was praying for him, and more so, even if he ended up being executed , he knew God would grant eternal rest to his soul.
We don’t understand the power in prayers. Prayers attracts the favor of God. Prayer is the only way we can talk to God. ( Luke 18:1) In this case it was the prayer of the believers that made God to send His angel to go and bring Peter out. The believers were United in spirit and earnestly interceded on behalf of Peter and God sent his angel to go and release Peter. There is power in a corporate prayer. How do we pray for people who are going through challenges in our community,? as a body of believers, are we coming together for prayers, people are going through challenges, some are in prison, some are homeless, some are in the hospitals, or sick in there homes, different kinds of needs. How are we coming together to pray for one another and to our friends and families who are in need of our prayers. Some of us pray only for ourselves and family members and don’t care about any other person. (Hebrews 10:25) And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.
We have an obligation as the body of believers to come together to pray for each other and for other members of our family and friends .God is ready to set someone free through our coming together in prayers. God bless you.
Prayers: God please help me to know that you are watching over my life, help me Lord to trust in the power of prayers in Jesus name. Thank you Lord for you are Mighty to save , deliver and restore. Thank you Jesus for all your love and compassion over my life.
Further Reading: 1st Chronicle 17