Sunday, February 5, 2017
Prayer Makes a Difference
(Reposted from 6/19/2011 & 2/5/09--favorite)
Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 39-40, Psalm 15, Acts 12
SCRIPTURE: Acts 12:1-19 (particularly v. 5)
5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. (Acts 12:5 NKJV)
The most important word in this verse is the little conjunction, “but.” Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. (Acts 12:5 NIV emphasis mine)
It says, they were “earnestly praying” in the NIV translation. In the NKJV the idea is expressed that they were in “constant prayer.” The original Greek word in this text actually carries both connotations, meaning—intently, fervently, without ceasing.
The point here is that they didn’t just have Peter added to their prayer chain—adding his name to the prayer list. (And there is nothing wrong with prayer chains and prayer lists). But the emphasis here is that the entire
church went to prayer in earnest—praying with intensity that God would deliver
Peter out of the hands of Herod, who was determined to put him to death just as
he had put James to death. (See verse
Prayer makes a difference! As you read this passage (Acts 12), can’t you almost feel the powers of darkness behind this? Can’t you sense the presence of evil spirits pressing and manipulating and prodding these attacks against the Christian Church and their leaders?
We are living in a day today of spiritual warfare too. Anything we’re going to try to do for God, the enemy is going to try to hinder us—going to try to discourage us—going to try to keep us from sincere prayer. But, clearly understand that when we come to God in prayer in the name of Jesus, prayer accomplishes things—prayer makes a difference!
Lord, it is so easy to become distracted from communion with You it seems. Because the spiritual realm is invisible to my physical sight, it is easy to feel my prayers are impotent. Thank You that Your Word shows me that my prayers and other believers’ prayers make a difference. Renew in me and in Your Church an earnestness in prayer in these difficult days.
In the powerful, difference making name of Jesus. Amen. -AP