In this fifth blog about prayer, I was inspired by insights from Ronald Dunn’s book, Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something: The Incredible Power of Intercessory Prayer.
Consider Peter who spent time in prison guarded by four squads of four soldiers each (Acts 12:3-4). I love the next verse: “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him” (Acts 12:5).
The night before the trial, Peter slept between two soldiers. He was bound by two chains with sentries guarding the entrance. An angel of the Lord woke Peter, his chains fell off, and led him out of prison to the house of Mary where many people were praying (Acts 12:6-12).
Even people in the first century had a tough time believing God answers prayer. When Rhoda, a servant girl, said Peter was at the door, they told her, “You’re out of your mind. It must be his angel” (Acts 12:13-15).
What if people didn’t pray for Peter? Would he have died?
While Paul was in prison, he wrote a thank you note to the Philippian believers for their gifts. He wrote, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy . . . being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:3-4)
What if Peter didn’t pray for them? Would God still complete the good work in them?
Paul later wrote “for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19). We know the Holy Spirit brings deliverance. Equally important was their prayers. Both the Holy Spirit and prayer brought deliverance to Paul.
Paul knew three things: 1. He knew the Philippians were praying for him; 2. He knew that when they received his letter, they would pray even more for him; and 3. He knew their prayers would bring the blessings of God upon him.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian believers, he mentioned how he despaired of life. He added “we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many” (2 Corinthians 1:8-11). We can’t under estimate the power of prayer in the lives of people.
Who needs your prayers right now? Pray for them today, and the next day, etc.
Entry Points to Pray for Others:
- Pray weekly on Thurs. 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CDT (for those living in Nebraska interested in praying for disciple-making movements) https://bit.ly/jitsi_mark
(check with us as we may change our date and time)
- Pray4Nebraska Facebook link: https://bit.ly/facebook_pray4nebraska
- Anyone who wants to initiate prayer at a different day or time, please text or call Mark Pomeroy for more information to hear your heart: (402) 617-4959 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Those who live outside of Nebraska, but want to join or possibly initiate praying for a disciple-making movement in your state. For more information, text or email Michael Sove: (443) 880-1716 or email@example.com