The prayers of the people who gather together united in purpose, change things as they earnestly seek Christ. In Acts 12, the story of Peter’s miraculous escape from prison is told, as King Herod had him arrested with the intent to publicly place him on trial, after just having put James to death with the sword.
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. – (Acts 12:5)
That very night, the people’s prayers were answered, and an angel of the Lord appeared to Peter and led him out of the prison without so much as waking a single one of the sixteen men who were charged with guarding him. Peter went out of the prison, directly to where the believers were gathered in prayer, to show them what the Lord had done. Overwhelmed, it took a few trips to the door, before those gathered could grasp that the man standing at the door was actually Peter in the flesh.
When people gather to purposefully pray, there is power in their prayers. We need to be people of faith, trusting that God hears our prayers and will be faithful to answer that which we ask in His Name. When answers come, we ought to give Him all the glory!
when gathered to pray;
seeking the Lord’s way.
for captives set free;
for weary and ill,
to gather near Thee.
with faith in the Lord;
for He is faithful,
answers to afford.
Pray too, with purpose,
seek Him and we’ll find;
He hears our prayers,
all glory Divine.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You assure us that where two or more are gathered, You are present in the midst of us. Thank You that You hear our every prayer, be it alone, or gathered together with a body of believers. Thank You that there is power in the prayers of Your people who gather together to pray, united in purpose. Forgive us for failing to gather, for lacking unity, or for anything else that hinders us from earnestly seeking You with all that we are. Teach us to trust and believe, so that we may know more completely the power present when we pray. Help us to love others as You so completely love each of us, and let those who are looking, find a forever faith in You. Be glorified, O God, as we gather together and purposefully pray. Amen.
For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15
In this increasingly “go with what feels good” culture, it is essential to not only be aware of what God deems right and wrong, but to also be in a close relationship with Him, so that we are able to hear His still small voice as He speaks to us, individually, about what is and is not permissible for us. There are some things that the Bible clearly defines as right and wrong. Yet there are other areas, that are a bit muddy. These are the places where it is paramount to pursue Christ for answers, rather than just going with whatever society says is good.
Acts five conveys the story of Peter and the apostles being arrested and jailed, simply for speaking the truth of what they had witnessed through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. The Sadducees jealousy got the best of them, and they threw the men of faith in prison. When brought to trial, the high priest asked them why they had gone against what they had been told (to stop teaching in His Name). “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!” – (Acts 5:29)
Though few of us face the fear of prison for sharing our faith, we do deal with social pressures to stay silent, and to go along with societal norms that directly disregard what God has spoken. There is a delicate balance in loving others, yet speaking the truth in love. We cannot go around shouting to people that they “must turn or burn“. Rather, our charge is to live in such a way, that people are drawn unto us, and begin to ask questions as to why we are the way we are. God will provide opportunities for truth to be told in His time. He is tender and kind, and longs to draw people unto Himself. May we be living examples of His love, and may we choose to obey God first, always.
we shall hear the way;
to do as You ask,
to honor, obey.
We must truly seek,
to hear still small voice;
then choose to follow,
Let not fear of men,
keep us from what’s true;
our final answer,
will be unto You.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have access to mighty examples of those who have faithfully followed You. Thank You too, that You do not expect us to do this on our own, but You provide us all that we need, through Your word, and Your Holy Spirit. Forgive us for folding to social pressures, or for staying silent when we were meant to speak. Teach us to hear Your voice clearly, so that we may be Your voice to those who know You not. Let our lives lived in love, speak volumes to all who are around us. May many come to know Your goodness and Your grace, as they enter into a personal place of seeking Your face. Be magnified, our great and mighty King. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3