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Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #252)


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 (verses 1-9 here):

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

— PRAYER —

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 251 messages in this series.

This is message #252 titled, Church Guidelines for Prophesying, Praying, and Speaking in Tongues, Part 3.

By way of introduction, Dr. John Walvoord & Dr. Roy Zuck, editors of the Bible Knowledge Commentary, said about this passage, “Paul had no intention of depreciating the gift of tongues; he was simply interested in appreciating the gift of prophecy. There was nothing wrong with the gift of tongues; in fact Paul thought it would be good if everyone had the gift. Of course he had said the same thing about celibacy, but in neither instance did he expect universal compliance with his statement. Since both were gifts from God, neither should be despised. In a church gathering, however, the gift of prophecy and its exercise was greatly to be preferred to uninterpreted tongues simply because the former built up others. As already stated, the tongues gift was confirmatory and thus temporary. Thus those instructions, specifically directed to the Corinthians’ misuse of tongues, are not directives for the use of tongues today.”

The Apostle Paul continues giving instruction on the use of the gifts of prophecy and speaking in tongues in the church. He reiterates again in verse 5 that he preferred that the people in the church pursue the gift of prophecy rather than that of speaking in tongues. He says, “for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.” The Greek word that Paul uses that is translated as “greater” means larger or stronger. It is not to say that the prophet is more important in value, but in capacity. Prophecy is of benefit to more people than speaking in tongues.

Some of those who desired the gift of speaking in tongues appeared to be doing so because it seemed glamorous or was celebrated more than other gifts. But, Paul’s concern is only about how many people can be edified with the gift. If the tongue is not interpreted, no one will be edified by what the speaker is saying. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon lists the definition of edifying as “the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, and holiness.” Whatever you do in the church, you must ask yourself whether you are doing it to improve the spiritual growth of others or whether you are just doing it to show off and gain praise for yourself.

Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes, “Paul did not deny the value of tongues to the speaker, but he did place a greater value on building up the church. Unless the tongues are interpreted, the message can do the church no good. Paul pointed out that an interpreter must be present before the gift of tongues may be exercised.” He goes on to use himself in a hypothetical situation. He says, “If I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?” Speaking in another tongue would have done no good for Paul’s listeners.

If Paul wanted to benefit the church, he would have to come with revelation directly from God, knowledge based on the study of God’s Word, prophetic speech directed toward a situation the church was facing, or the explanation of some doctrine the church needed to abide by. All of this, of course, would be delivered in the people’s native language. The point was not how dramatic the speaker could be, but whether or not the people could understand what the speaker was saying and apply it to their lives. There is no merit in being mysterious or complicated when it comes to Christian teaching (or any other kind of teaching); such teaching only comes across as confusing and unbeneficial.

A piano only has 88 keys, yet a pianist is able to play an infinite number of songs. You and I would instantly be able to recognize, understand, and enjoy the sounds of “Amazing Grace,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” or The “Star Wars” Theme Song. Why? Because the notes of each song are played in an orderly and organized fashion. Out of this order comes beautiful music. If someone bangs around on the piano keys, no matter how much they claim they are making music, everyone will see it for what it is — cacophony, and no one will be able to understand or enjoy what is being played. In the house of God, we ought to be committed to making beautiful, orderly, music that all people can understand and by which all people can be benefitted, edified, and uplifted.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Praying, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 5 (Praying Through the Bible #248)

PART 1


PART 2


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 11:1-16:

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 247 messages in this series.

This is message #248 titled, Praying, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 5.

By way of introduction to this passage, Walter Elwell writes:

The first issue is concerned with the different head coverings that appropriately distinguish women and men as they pray or prophesy in worship. The interpretation of the passage is complicated from the outset (so also to some extent is) by its dependence on prior teaching which Paul has given to the church but which, of course, is unknown to us. However, by beginning with ‘praise,’ Paul hints that the church has not departed significantly from the substance of what he has previously taught. The discussion of the issue then begins with a call for the church to acknowledge (again or anew) that the ‘head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.’ However, the word head, used here and repeatedly throughout this section, has various meanings. It may be used to speak of a physical head. But from this literal meaning come two metaphorical ones which allow the same word to denote rule and authority (the head of the church being in authority over the body, or source and origin (the head of the church being the source of its existence. Of course, the precise meaning intended here will greatly influence the interpretation of the principle being expressed, not to mention any attempt to apply it to different, broader questions about the roles appropriate to men and women in contemporary worship. It may be helpful, therefore, to note first that either meaning enables these words to support the instructions which follow. But it is also significant to observe that the second has the advantage of according greater continuity to the section as a whole .If the second of the metaphorical meanings is Paul’s here, then his principle will be a statement of the truth that the source of every man’s existence (or perhaps ‘person’; the Greek can be used generically) is Christ, “through whom all things were made” (the Nicene Creed) the source of woman’s existence is ‘the man’ (the definite article in Greek is used with the word man, not woman; and the source of existence for the historical person of Christ is God. Thus a man who prays or prophesies with his physical head covered (either, as the NIV text suggests, by some form of head covering or, as the footnote has it, with long hair) symbolically dishonors the source of his existence by obscuring that which was created in the image of God and designed to reflect that image to God’s glory. Similarly, a woman who prays or prophesies (a practice Paul affirms apart from these comments on proper dress) with her physical head uncovered symbolically refuses to honor the source of her existence (i.e., by trying to obscure the distinctions between woman and man) and so brings dishonor upon her own head as surely as if it “were shaved.” Thus if a woman refuses to ‘cover her head,’ she may as well ‘have her hair cut off,’ for the latter state is no more or less dishonoring to her than the former. The basis for this argument is now reexpressed and supplemented before Paul returns to the question of the woman’s appearance. For the ‘reason’ he has given, and because of the angels, the woman who prays or prophesies must ‘have a sign of authority on her head.’ This allows her to transcend her created distinction from man (without seeking to deny it) in the expression of her gift. For both now participate in worship in a new order in Christ. This does not mean, however, that in the Lord woman is free to disregard man, nor is man free to disregard woman. The truth is that they are dependent upon each other and both dependent upon God.

As we return to this passage once again, Paul provides another major reason as to why women should wear head coverings in public worship. His first reason is because of the divine order of authority: God, Christ, man, and then woman. The second reason is because of Creation: God created man first and woman second. These reasons are still valid today as it pertains to a woman’s role in the home and the church. The husband is the head of the household and men are to be ordained as pastors of churches. However, when it comes to headcoverings, most commentators agree that Paul’s words should be applied in light of the cultural relevancy of the headcovering. In New Testament times and in some places today (particularly Muslim countries), a head covering is representative of a respectable, upstanding woman. But, in the Western world, physical headcoverings — whether they are veils, or hats, or shawls — don’t carry the same symbolism and are not required in the church.

Another of Paul’s reasons in defense of the Biblical position of a woman’s role in the home is one that also carries weight for our society. In verses 13-16, Paul appeals to nature, writing: “Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” In fact, in this day and time, when there is so much Satanic confusion surrounding gender and what constitutes male and female, these words are more relevant than ever. There are some things that apply to men and some things that apply to women across the board.

Addressing what Paul’s words mean in light of our present discussion, Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck write: “Mankind instinctively distinguished between the sexes in various ways, one of which was length of hair. Exceptions to this general practice were due either to necessity or perversity. No abstract length of hair was in mind so much as male and female differentiation. The Spartans, for example, favored shoulder-length hair for men which they tied up for battle, and no one thought them effeminate. Long hair was a woman’s glory because it gave visible expression to the differentiation of the sexes. This was Paul’s point in noting that long hair was given to her as a covering. Natural revelation confirmed the propriety of women wearing the physical covering. She has a natural covering, and should follow the custom of wearing a physical covering in a public meeting.”

Some might try to contend with the natural order of things by stating that this order is solely based on centuries of misguided human social construction. However, for Paul, the natural order is based on the divine order and the created order. Genesis states that God made them “male and female.” He didn’t make two people of the same kind. He made two people of a different kind. And He did it for a reason.

In the church, it is tempting to go along with the culture’s attempt to erase the differences and blend the roles of men and women. But God has given us a clear order for the church and the family. His natural creation testifies that men and women are equal but distinct from each other. We must respect that order in worship, in service, and in life.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Praying, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #246)

PART 1


PART 2


TEXT: 1 Corinthians 11:1-12:

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 245 messages in this series.

This is message #246 titled, Praying, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 3.

Having established the foundational authority structure within God’s economy, Paul now moves into the specifics of the situation in the Corinthian church. He says, “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head.” Paul’s concern here is not with the behavior of males and females in the church. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament portray men and women in prominent roles when praying and prophesying. Rather, Paul is concerned with the manner in which men and women go about that behavior.

The term “head” is symbolic of authority. Jesus is the head of the church. Colossians 2:10 says Christ is the “head of all principalities and powers.” We refer to the leader of a country as a “head of state.” In any organization, the behavior of subordinates is a reflection on their leader. A misbehaving child is a negative reflection on his parents; a well-behaved child is a positive reflection on his parents. In the same way, how we live and worship as Christians is a reflection on our head Jesus Christ.

The central question of the head being covered or uncovered in worship is: How are we reflecting on our authority and our position in that authority structure? Mark Taylor writes in his commentary: “Paul recognizes the principle of headship because what one does with their anatomical head in worship has implications of either honor or shame for one’s respective spiritual head.”

Because the uncovered head was symbolic of the man’s position under Christ, it would have been shameful for a man to minister in the church with his head covered. It would have been as though he were rejecting his God-given role as a leader in the church and family, as many men do today. He would have brought dishonor to His authority, Jesus Christ. Conversely, for the woman: Because the covered head was symbolic of her position under her husband, it would have been shameful for her to minister in the church with her head uncovered. It would have been as though she were rejecting her God-given position in the church and the family, as many women do today. She would not only show dishonor to Christ, but to her husband as well.

Warren Wiersbe writes, “The man honors his Head (Christ) by being uncovered, while the woman honors her head (the man) by being covered. She is showing her submission both to God and to the man. Both man and woman are made in the image of God and for the glory of God; but since the woman was made from the man she is also the ‘glory of the man.’ She glorifies God and brings glory to the man by submitting to God’s order and keeping her head covered in public worship.”

Not only is worship important. But, how we go about our worship is important. God wants us to pray, prophesy, preach, and minister in ways that are honoring to Him. Sometimes, we think we can get away with doing a good thing in the wrong way. But, God wants us to do all good things in the right way, and that includes abiding by the order of authority in the church and in the home. When we do, we bring glory and honor to God, to Christ, and to the human authority that God has placed over us.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 5 (Praying Through the Bible #224)


TEXT: Acts 12:11-17

11 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.

12 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.

13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.

14 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.

15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.

16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

17 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.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 223 messages in this series.

This is message #224 titled, The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 5.

From the miraculous story of Peter’s deliverance from prison, from the hand of Herod, and from the ill intent of the Jews, we began looking at what this apostle did after he received his answer to prayer. The Bible tells us that “many” had gathered at Mary’s house to pray collectively for his deliverance. Their prayers had been answered, but Peter was the only one who knew it.

The first thing Peter did was he acknowledged God as the miracle-worker. He stopped to express thanks and gratitude to God for working on his behalf. And when we get our answers to prayer, we ought to do the same.

Then, not only did Peter acknowledge God as his deliverer and miracle-worker, but he shared the good news with other saints. Peter went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where the saints were gathered, praying for him. The Bible says, “many were gathered together praying.” With Herod’s people out to get them, it is understandable that the door was locked. It took Peter a little while to get into the prayer meeting because a young lady, Rhoda, answered the door, and when she heard Peter’s voice she got so excited that she ran back to tell the others but forgot to unlock the door. No one believed Rhoda at first, deciding that what she had seen was Peter’s guardian angel. “But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.”

The word translated as “astonished” means “to be amazed, to be thrown into wonderment, to be beside one’s self.” I believe the response of these believers is due, not to the fact that they did not expect a miracle, but they did not expect a miracle of this nature. Perhaps, they were hoping that there would be a trial and that the Roman-backed legal system would treat Peter fairly and that Peter would eventually be released. (A similar thing happened to Paul some time in the future.) But when they saw Peter coming into Mary’s house that night, they knew that God had worked a miracle beyond their imagination. When God has answered our prayers, especially when others have been praying with us and for us, we ought to be glad to tell them of what God has done. Our testimony will be an encouragement to others who are praying for God to work on their behalf.

Finally, not only did Peter acknowledge God as his deliverer, and not only did he share the good news of his deliverance, but he and the other believers got back to work almost immediately. Understandably, Peter’s miraculous deliverance was a cause for great celebration. The believers wanted to know all the details of the miracle. The Bible says that Peter, “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.”

Peter commissioned the saints to take the good news to James and to the other believers. They, too, needed to hear that their prayers had been answered, not only so that they could rejoice in the miracle, but so that they could get back to the all-important work of preaching the Gospel and edifying the saints. Sometimes, we have emergency situations that call for an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to prayer. That is what happened when “many” people gathered at Mary’s house to pray for one thing — Peter’s deliverance. That is the power of the collective prayer of the church in the face of impossible situations. But when these situations are resolved, we all must, as Peter did, go “into another place” so that we can continue the individual work that God has called us to do — be it in our homes, in our workplaces, in other areas of the church, in government, or what have you.

From the example of the first-century believers, we see that when we are faced with impossible situations, the collective prayer of the saints is mighty through God to overcome any difficulty that stands in the way of God’s work.

Eliza E. Hewitt wrote:

No matter how hard goes the battle of life,
God’s children need never despair;
His conquering grace giveth peace amid the strife,
There is wonderful power in prayer.

We know that roses will not always bloom,
The skies will not always be fair;
But go to the Father to brighten the gloom,
There is wonderful power in prayer.

Through all the swift changes that come to us here,
Till white robes of glory we wear;
We’ll look up to Jesus for comfort and cheer,
There is wonderful power in prayer.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 4 (Praying Through the Bible #223)


TEXT: Acts 12:11-17

11 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.

12 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.

13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.

14 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.

15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.

16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

17 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.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 222 messages in this series.

This is message #223 titled, The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 4.

At the beginning of our passage, Peter has just been miraculously delivered from prison. Herod had him locked up and chained to two guards, with two more watching the door. Herod planned to have Peter publicly executed in order to please the Jews. But none of Herod’s plans were able to stop God from delivering Peter. While Herod was plotting, God’s people were praying without ceasing. In the middle of the night, an angel entered the prison, awoke Peter, broke his chains, told him to get dressed, and led him out of the prison. The city gates opened for them of their own accord, and the angel departed from Peter. It was at this point that Peter realized that he had really been delivered. Previously, he thought he must have been dreaming or receiving some kind of vision.

Notice three things Peter did when he realized that he had been miraculously delivered.

First, Peter acknowledged God as the miracle-worker. Often, when we get our blessings or our answers to prayer, we take them and run. But, not Peter. As soon as he realized what had happened, 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.” Peter acknowledged that God was behind his deliverance. He knew that he had not delivered himself, so he offered that thanks, that gratitude, that attribution to God. Just as you and I appreciate it when others say “thank you” for what we have done for them, God appreciates it when we say “thank you” for what He has done for us. Remember how Jesus commended the one leper who came back to thank Him after He had healed ten of them.

The text goes on to tell us that Peter “considered the thing.” The word translated as “consider” means “to comprehend or to be conscious of.” How often do we go through life unaware and unconscious of God’s blessings? Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that you are still alive? Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that you are healthy? Have you ever stopped to consider that you have food to eat and a place to stay? Have you ever stopped to consider that you have a means of making money and providing for your family? Most of us just take these things for granted. We need to deliberately stop to consider the things that God has blessed us with as we go to Him each day in prayer. In fact, you can make it a habit to thank God for one thing that you do have before you ask Him for something that you do not have.

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 2 (Praying Through the Bible #221)


TEXT: Acts 12:1-5

1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.

2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)

4 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.

5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 220 messages in this series.

This is message #221 titled, The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 2.

As we return to this passage, we find the church at a critical moment. They are facing the specter of a new wave of persecution that has become all too real. James, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, has been killed. Herod the king has found that this pleases one of his major constituencies, the Jews, so he has decided to make it a new policy of his administration. He has followed through by arresting Peter, who was at this time the most high profile of Jesus’ disciples. But Herod wanted to make a spectacle of Peter’s death, so he decided to wait until after the Passover to have him crucified. Herod delivered Peter into the hands of 16 Roman soldiers who took turns watching over him in prison in a rotation of four-man squads. Herod thought he had the situation under control. He had Peter on lockdown; he had these Jesus-followers going underground. But that was Herod’s big mistake. His delay, if you will, gave God’s people room to work in prayer to God for him.

What did God’s people do when they heard the news that Peter was in prison? The Bible says, “Prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” Notice three things about the church’s action at this time.

First, notice the earnestness of their prayer. The Bible says they prayed “without ceasing.” However, the Greek word that is translated here does not have so much to do with how long or how often they prayed as it does with how fervently they prayed. The word is “ek-te-nos”; it means earnest and fervent. Dr. John MacArthur said, “This verb is related to a medical term describing the stretching of a muscle to its limits.” Luke, a doctor and the author of this book, knows all about this. He used the very same word to describe Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The church was serious about asking God to work on Peter’s behalf. Much of our praying lacks seriousness and earnestness. We just say words, but there is no real force of will behind them. We are, sadly, just going through the motions. Earnest prayer is effective because it shows that we sincerely care about those things which God cares about.

Not only did the church show earnestness in their prayer, notice also the Godwardness of their prayer. The fervency and earnestness of the church were directed to the right place. The Bible says, “Prayer was made unto God.” It might seem obvious, but we must choose to make God the central focus of our prayers. Sometimes, our focus is on ourselves, where we are only praying because we want something from God. Sometimes, our focus is on other people, where we are praying because we feel someone has offended us and we want God to resolve the situation by ‘dealing with’ the other person. Sometimes, our prayers are focused purely in self-righteousness, where we see ourselves as upright while we pray for the lost world, the culture going to hell in a handbasket, or the increasing secular influence in the government. God ought to be the central focus of our prayers. We can be reminded of this if we ask ourselves, how can God be glorified in this situation that I am praying about? Whatever the answer to that question is, pray with that in mind. When God’s glory is your central focus, you will be making the right requests in your prayer.

Not only did the church show earnestness in their prayer and Godwardness in their prayer, now notice the corporateness of their prayer. The Bible says, “Prayer was made of the church for him.” This was not just the pastor praying or a few deacons praying. This was the whole church praying to God on behalf of Peter. Too many churches have succumbed to the notion that there are only a few really spiritual people in the church, that there are only a few “prayer warriors” who can get in touch with God. The term “prayer warrior” is not found in the Bible. That is a misnomer (just like the term “servant leader”) — something extra-biblical that Christians came up with on their own. Prayer is not a spiritual gift and all Christians are commanded to pray without ceasing. Too many of us have abdicated our Christian responsibility to pray, falsely believing that others are more qualified or more worthy to do so. All of the church ought to be a praying church.

We see in the example of the early church an action plan for overcoming impossible situations. The action is prayer — earnest prayer, Godward prayer, corporate prayer.

Someone once wrote:

Let us work with the Lord through prayer,
Praying every time and everywhere.
He wants to use us to accomplish His will;
We will seek Him ’till His purpose is fulfilled.

Let us fellowship with God through prayer;
There is nothing else that can compare.
Lord, we realize there’s nothing we can do,
But all things are possible through You.

Let us fight on God’s side through prayer;
Over death, Christ’s victory we declare.
One with Him, we soar in prayer,
We fight as one for His kingdom everywhere.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 1 (Praying Through the Bible #220)


TEXT: Acts 12:1-5

1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.

2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)

4 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.

5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 219 messages in this series.

This is message #220 titled, The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Midst of Impossible Situations, Part 1.

In this passage, we find the early church at a time when it is being persecuted by Herod. Christianity, being a new way of life, was highly suspect by nearly everyone. Jews though it blasphemous. And the Greeks and Romans were wary of anything that took worship away from their own gods. Christianity was already seen as a threat to the religious establishment and eventually would be seen as a threat to the political establishment as well. While the early church had some great successes up to this point, they also faced persecution. And that persecution was only about to get worse. There are three things that we see in this passage that put the church in a seemingly impossible situation.

First, the church had precedent against it. We see in this passage that “Herod the king — known to historians as Herod Agrippa I — stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.” The Jews had already carried out a campaign aimed at stamping out Christianity in Jerusalem and beyond. Paul, then known as Saul, was a part of that campaign as he “breathed out threatenings and slaughter” against the church. Stephen, a Spirit-filled believer, was stoned to death by the Jews. Now, Herod takes James the brother of John and kills him “with the sword”; the term indicates that he was likely beheaded just as John the Baptist was beheaded by this Herod’s uncle,, Herod Antipas. Both the Jews and the Romans had killed prominent members of the church. James was one Jesus’ Twelve Disciples. If James was not spared persecution and death, no one was safe.

Second, the church had politics against it. Luke tells us that when Herod saw that James’ death “pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also.” Herod was concerned about his approval ratings. He found something that made the typically troublesome Jews very happy — killing Christians. So, he had Peter arrested during the Passover week. But, he didn’t kill Peter immediately; instead, he “intended after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” Herod wanted maximum exposure for Peter’s death . Once the Jews finished observing their Passover, he would make a spectacle of Peter, another of the Twelve, a prominent disciple of Jesus Christ. While Saul’s persecution of the church was carried out from misguided but sincere religious zeal, Herod’s persecution of the church was motivated solely by politics. It was not lost on the early church that two of the most prominent Christians — the ones who had been hand-picked by the Lord — were not spared persecution.

Third, the church had a prison against it. Herod knew that Peter had escaped prison before under inexplicable circumstances, so he took extra precautions to keep Peter locked up until he was ready to execute him. “He put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him.” A quaternion was a squad made up of four guards, typically appointed to keep watch over high-value prisoners. Peter would have been chained to two guards inside his cell while the other two guards kept watch at the door. The four quaternions would have changed places at the beginning of each of the four watches of the day.

How did the church respond to this seemingly impossible situation? They had precedent against them. They had the political climate against them. They had a prison and sixteen guards against them, but the church had prayer to God for them. The Bible says, “Prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” They did not protest James’ death or Peter’s imprisonment. They did not even appeal to Herod. But they did not give up. Even as it seemed that everything was turning against them, they turned to God in prayer. One commentator said, “Although Peter was locked in prison, the church was free to pray. When every other gate is shut and locked, the gate to heaven is wide open. We take advantage of that open gate through prayer.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

God Honors Consistent Prayer and Faithful Living, Part 6 (Praying Through the Bible #218)


TEXT: Acts 10:24-29

24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?

——- PRAYER ——-

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 217 messages in this series.

This is message #218 titled, God Honors Consistent Prayer and Faithful Living, Part 6

In this passage, we begin to see the culmination of the prayers of two faithful men and their obedience to God’s instructions to them. Cornelius, the Roman Centurion, prayed every day and he was told to send for Peter. Peter also was a man of prayer whom God told to go with the Gentile messengers who had come to Joppa asking for him. Neither of these men knew each other. Neither knew what God was doing. But because they were both faithful and obedient, God brought them together so that He could open the door of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

It is human nature to want to have things explained to us before we act. However, sometimes, the only way we can understand the “why” of God’s commands is to obey first. When Peter received the vision of the great sheet with clean and unclean beasts, he didn’t know what to think. When the voice told him, ‘Rise, Peter, kill and eat,’ he was bewildered. When a group of strange Gentile men showed up on his doorstep, he went with them only because God had told him to.

Now he meets Cornelius, and he suddenly realizes what God was trying to show him in the vision. He says, “Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Peter would have never realized this if he had not obeyed. Oswald Chambers said, “The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but obedience.”

Peter goes on to tell Cornelius, “Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for.” The word “gainsaying” means contradiction. Gainsaying is when we verbally go against what God has told us to do. We raise objections, we complain, we question, we try to get our voice heard when God has already given us clear instructions.

One of the reasons why we suffer from unanswered prayers and from lack of understanding regarding God’s plan for our lives is because we simply don’t obey what God has already told us. We cannot reach for more and better and higher things until we do the things that He has already told us. We cannot keep asking for our prayers to be answered when God has already provided an answer and is waiting for us to obey.

John H. Sammis wrote:

When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.

But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

God Honors Consistent Prayer and Faithful Living, Part 5 (Praying Through the Bible #217)


TEXT: Acts 10:17-20

17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,

18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 216 messages in this series.

This is message #217 titled, God Honors Consistent Prayer and Faithful Living, Part 5

In our last message in this series, we talked about the faithfulness of Peter in prayer. Prior to that, we talked about the pious lifestyle and prayerfulness of the Gentile Cornelius. In this passage, we begin to see how both of these men, unbeknownst to each other, were being guided by God to fulfill a joint goal.

The “vision” spoken of in verse 17 is the one Peter received while he was praying. A “great sheet” dropped from the sky presenting him with “all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.” A voice commanded Peter to “kill and eat.” But Peter refused saying, “Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” The voice replied, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” Three times, this vision was repeated while Peter prayed.

Notice that the Bible says Peter “doubted in himself” what the vision meant. He had no idea what to make of it. But while he was thinking on the meaning of this vision, the men whom Cornelius had sent arrived at the house and asked for him. The Bible says “the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” Peter went down to them, met with them, and then returned with them to Cornelius’ house the next day.

What we see in this passage is the Spirit of God directing those who are in tune with Him through prayer. Cornelius did not know why the angel told him to send for Peter. Peter did not understand the vision that he had received. He did not know why these three men sent by a Gentile Centurion were asking him to return with them. But God knew what He was doing.

Because of their faithfulness in prayer, God had an open door into each of these men’s lives. They had been faithful to Him and now He was using them to push forward the next phase of Gospel evangelism — taking the Good News to the Gentiles. Owen Feltham said, “He, who always waits upon God, is ready whensoever he calls. He is a happy man who so lives that God, at all times, may find him at leisure to serve.”

When we are faithful in prayer and in regular communion with God, God will have an open door to work in our lives. We will be available for Him to speak to us and to use us in ways we have never imagined. We may not always understand His instructions, but if we continue to walk in faith and obedience, as Peter and Cornelius did, we will be richly rewarded.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

God Honors Consistent Prayer and Faithful Living, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #215)


TEXT: Acts 10:1-4

1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

——- PRAYER ——-

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 214 messages in this series.

This is message #215 titled, God Honors Consistent Prayer and Faithful Living, Part 3

In Acts Chapter 10, we were introduced to a man named Cornelius, a Gentile, and a centurion in the Roman army. He is not a saved man, but he strives to live according to the truth that he has gained regarding spiritual matters. He is a great example of how we as Christians should approach our life as believers — especially if we want to see our prayers answered.

The first thing we noticed about Cornelius is that he believed in God. He was “a devout man and one who feared God.”

Second, we saw that Cornelius’ devotion to God affected the way he lived his life. He led his household to believe in God, and he faithfully gave alms to those in need.

The third thing we notice about Cornelius is that he was a man who was consistent with his prayer life. The text says he “prayed to God alway.” The word translated as “alway” means constantly or continuously. Cornelius apparently followed the Biblical commands that “men ought always to pray and not faint” and to “pray without ceasing.” The Bible does not tell us what, specifically, Cornelius prayed for so often. But, we do know that he was consistent and faithful in His prayers to God.

I believe it is safe to assume that one of the things he prayed for was more light regarding spiritual matters. Perhaps, deep down, despite all his religious practices, he felt that there was still something missing from his life spiritually. As we will see later on in this passage, whether it was a direct answer to prayer or not, God decided to give Cornelius the full Gospel message. His reception of the Gospel message was the first recorded time it had been delivered to a Gentile.

Apparently, Cornelius was the right kind of man to receive this revelation. He was a man who had prepared himself for it. Not only had he placed his faith and trust in God in light of the knowledge that he had, but he allowed that faith to change the way he lived. His lifestyle was in line with his words. On top of that, he was a praying man — not just praying when he needed something, but a man who prayed consistently, constantly, and continually.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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