Well, it's a Sunday morning, and I'm on duty. I was hoping to be able to go with a friend to a church up near Tokyo this morning, but that was before I realized I had duty. Anyways...for my Sunday service, I listened to one of my Northland Podcasts. The sermon I listened to was from their Heart Conference 2010 which took place back in February. The particular sermon was being preached by an older man named David Atkinson. The Heart Conference is mainly for Pastors, but God can use these messages to speak to anyone.
This particular message was on prayer, and how we need to pray more specifically for people. One of the points he made which really hit home for me was this one...I will quote what he said: "If I'm not praying, I have an inflated view of man, and a deflated view of God." Just as I have blogged about before...I don't know about you...but I know that people will fail me. I don't want to put my trust in man to get the job done properly...I need to trust God! I need to come before the Lord, in earnest supplication, asking Him to give me wisdom, asking Him to lead me down the right path, asking Him to heal a loved one, or asking Him to heal someone I don't even know. Whatever the case may be, we need to be more about going before the Lord and earnestly praying.
And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the LORD hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.
Acts 12 : 4-17
In this very passage we see an example of people earnestly praying for some one. It says in this passage "...but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." We see in the end what their prayer brought forth...Peter was freed! Do we do this so much? I can probably count the number of times I have honestly and earnestly prayed for something with that much vigor...on probably one hand. The first time I can recall was when my Dad attempted suicide and I was praying that he would survive, and I the second one I can recall is when I was in boot camp, and I was worried I wasn't going to make it through. I can say that there were plenty of other times in my life when I should have been praying earnestly, and honestly before the Lord with sincerity. So often my prayers are filled with a feeling of duty...the thought in my head will be something like..."Oooooo, haven't talked to the Lord in a while...I really need to do that." Then I'll proceed with some wrote prayer...using a format I always use for prayer. We need to pray with earnestness...with a trust that God will answer!
If you'll notice in the passage above, when we pray as a church "without ceasing"...God can do things we thought impossible! We need to put more faith in God that He will take care of it...that He's in control! I see so much action by man to do what we believe is right in churches today. Why not ask God? Why not let Him lead us? He's the one who's supposed to lead us!
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Well, I think I've said everything I felt led to say. My hope and even my prayer is that we would be a people of prayer. That we as Christians would go before the Lord more often, and give to him our cares, and that we would pray to Him in earnestness, and sincerity trusting Him that He can answer it.
I pray that what God spoke to me about today might be a blessing to you all. And that maybe God would use this post, to speak to you.