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“What Happens When Christians Pray Together” | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 16, 2022 3:00 am

“What Happens When Christians Pray Together” | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 16, 2022 3:00 am

There is power in united prayer when it is offered to God with passion and persistence. In this Sunday morning message, Pastor Greg Laurie relates the ways that prayer can change lives in his newest message, “What Happens When Christians Pray Together.” Give a listen!

Notes

There is a right and a wrong way to pray.

Prayer can dramatically change situations, people, and even the course of nature.

God allows hardship, challenge, need, and even tragedy so He can reveal Himself.

When we pray, we are acknowledging our weakness and need for God’s help.

Who was the strongest man to have ever lived?

Jesus! And He prayed—so we should, too!

God does not want us as believers to isolate but, rather, infiltrate culture.

Satan hates evangelism.

“But constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” —Acts 12:5

1. The prayer that has power is the one that is offered to God.

The key is to get our will into an alignment with God’s will.

We can know the will of God by careful study of Scripture.

Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.

2. They prayed with passion and persistence.

Sometimes God says “Go.”

Sometimes God says “Slow.”

Sometimes God says “Grow.”

3. They prayed together!

There is power in united prayer!

“Prayer is striking the winning blow; service is gathering up the results.” —Psalm 4:8

4. They prayed doubtingly.

We enter into eternity!

We decide in this life where we will spend the afterlife.

Scripture Referenced

Matthew 15:8

1 John 5:14

Psalm 127:2

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Hey there, thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie podcast, a ministry supported by harvest partners. I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about harvest ministries. Learn more about how to become a harvest partner, just go to harvest.org hey, I just read an article the other day were a survey was taken among Christians, and they asked him if they thought the sermons they were sharing should be longer or shorter and only 10% wanted shorter sermons and the other 90%. One of their sermons longer.

Hey, this is good news for preachers so I went to give you a three hour sermon. Are you ready fasten your seatbelts. I'm just getting it will be around the normal length of my messages with the title of my message for you is what happens when Christians pray together and will be in acts chapter 12 what happens when Christians pray together when we start with prayer.

Now father as we talked about prayer. Teach us to pray, we remember that story in Scripture where the disciples came to you, Jesus, and said, Lord, teach us to pray and then you taught them to pray our father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven and on it went pointing us to you so know Lord, we pray that you will teach us how to pray. We commit this Bible study to you in Jesus name, amen heard a story about three men that were hiking through a forest and they came to a large regime. River so they decided to pray always a good idea because they needed to get over the river so the first man, pray Lord I pray that you will give me the strength to cross the river boom.

Suddenly, his bulging biceps and strong legs and the dives in and start swimming across it.

It took him about six hours.

He almost drowned twice, but he got to the other side so the two guys are watching this and the second guy says Lord I pray that you will give me the strength and the tools to cross the river key to a bulging biceps and strong legs, but also a boat so we got in the little rowboat made his way across. It took him about three hours and a capsize twice putting it so the third guy said, Lord, I pray that you give me the strength and the tools and the intelligence to cross the river improve suddenly he became a woman she consulted the map, walked a few feet up the riverbank and walked over the bridge so it comes under this there's a right and there's a wrong way to pray. Maybe I'm talking to somebody right now that is in a very difficult situation. You don't see any way out of your situation or you have a great need that only God can provide. Or maybe you're facing an uncertain future, and it seems as though you can't fix it.

It's just a big mess your life will.

Here's what you need to know things can change when you pray, one thing that will stand out in the story begin to read in a few moments's prayer can dramatically change situations, people, and even the very course of nature. It's been said when you're swept off your feet. It's time to get on your knees listen. Prayer can change things, but most of all prayer changes you because there are times in life will God will allow hardship or a time of great need, or perhaps even a tragedy so he can reveal himself to you so you will learn to call upon them so we can put his glory on display. See Willie when I pray I'm acknowledging that I'm week I'm acknowledging I need help and a lot of people don't like to do this, especially men. Why is it that men don't think they need help.

Simple answer because they're stupid.

Remember my story I just told you in the beginning, listen, who was the strongest man whoever lived. Don't say Superman. He's not real you. My table since it he was strong for sure but it was not the strongest man whoever lived the strongest man whoever lived was Jesus Christ.

He had unlimited strength.

He was on lipid tent, all powerful but yet we read story after story in the Gospels of Jesus praying Jesus stayed up one of the late hours of night and praying it of Jesus, the strongest man whoever lived needed to pray how much more do we need to pray so here before us and that's chapter 12 is a story of the power of prayer.

The early church was facing a very difficult set of problems and so they realize the only way around it or through it was with the help of God, so what is happening now in the church of the first century as a new wave of persecution has come against them. This is not the first wave is just another way, the first wave of persecution came when Stephen that courageous young man full of faith was put to death for following Jesus Christ and proclaiming the gospel to the religious leaders within God infiltrated God intervene, and God turned around the chief persecutor of the church who was known as Saul of Tarsus. Now he was the apostle Paul. So what Saul was doing his dirty work in attacking the church they started to spread out another dinner spread out even more, because God has spoken to Simon Peter, who at that moment was the leader of the church and showed him that he was to take the gospel to the Gentiles and Peter came face-to-face with the Roman centurion Cornelius and it was a whole new movement in the church. If you're driving a stick shift car you just went from 1st to 2nd gear you're picking up momentum. The church is on the move and it's a good remember of good reminder rather than God wants the church to infiltrate not to isolate the commission of the church is underway for the world to show up, the great commission to the church is to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Jesus did not say the whole world should go to church but he did say the church should go to the whole world.

So now the church is moving quickly there, reaching even more people both Jew and Gentile, and the devil is not happy.

Listen.

Satan hates God and he hates those that follow God, but if there's one thing that Satan really hates its evangelism because when we evangelize and if you don't know what that word means means sharing your faith when we tell others about Jesus, we are invading enemy territory and we have the privilege of leading others to Christ that stinking captives from Satan and is not can it take that line down, as evidenced in the story before us because Satan works through a powerful King name ^ who begins a horrible time of persecution against the church. Let's read about it. Acts chapter 12 and then read verses 1 to 5 now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some of the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also know this was during the days of unleavened bread until Wendy and arrested him and put him in prison. He delivered him.

The four squads of soldiers to keep them intending to bring them before the people after Passover. Peter was therefore kept in prison but underline this verse but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. Okay, so King Herod kills James the brother of John how devastating this was for the church. How unbelievably hard it was for James brother John, these guys did everything together. Jesus even give them a nickname for Sons of thunder. These guys knew how to mix it up they went everywhere together for good. One occasion the mother of James and John name Siloam came to Jesus and said, Lord, I'm thinking that when you rein in your glory, you should let my son sit on your right and left hand. Jesus said I can't do that for you and you know it's a good thing he didn't answer that prayer because when we look at where Jesus ended up on the cross on his right and left hand work to criminals. So sometimes we should thank God for unanswered prayers right, but James and John. These guys loved each other and know James is been killed in the church can't believe this is actually happened.

This was a devastating moment.

Now let me see a couple of words about Harriet. We read the name of Herod. Many times in the new testament and you need to know that there were many parents, they were all related. There were devilish dynasty if you will. The first was Herod the great, not because he was grateful because he was a great builder and in fact you can go to Israel today and still see structures that were built by Herod the great, the second Temple in Jerusalem was beautified and built out by Herod the great, Herod also built this a retreat called Masada that still stands today so he was a great builder but he was also a wicked man a paranoid man very insecure man. He ran from about 40 BC to 37 BC and he was dubbed the King of the Jews by Octavius and the Roman Senate. So when those wise men came from the East. Remember the Christmas story and they said were looking for the one who's been born called the King of the Jews. They could not have used more inflammatory rhetoric in the presence of King Herod because he thought he was the king of the Jews, so he brought in scholars and said where is this Messiah supposed to be born in the accurately said, well, sire. He is supposed to be born in Bethlehem.

You remember that it was King Herod that has those innocent Jewish boys slaughtered hoping to stop the king of the Jews are coming so that's the first Herod, King Herod, or Herod the great, now the Herod before us in this story is Herod Agrippa one. He was the grandson of Herod the great, so we arty know is responsible for the martyrdom of James and now he wants to put Simon Peter to death as well. Later, the apostle Paul would stand before his son.

Agrippa and you want to talk about a wicked family. The Bible talks about the sins of the parents being visited on children. This is not speaking of some mystical curse that can come upon a family. This is simply speaking of the fact that sin can be passed on. You set a bad example and your children pick up that bad example and they pass it on to their children. But the good news is Christ can break a cycle of sin and a family and turn everything around.

Example I came from an alcoholic family.

My mother was alcoholic and the man she married were alcoholics, and she was divorced seven times, so chances are that I should have been an alcoholic because there's a far higher chance of you being an alcoholic. If your parents were and I should have been married and divorced multiple tonsil thank God I'm not an alcoholic act. I don't drink at all and I've been married for over 47. So okay God can intervene and change the story Christ can change the RT can change the narrative. If you let them with these wicked, Herod's pass this sin on from generation to generation. So here is that okay now I gotta be extra careful. I can leave anything to chance.

So we read in verse four Peter was delivered before squads of soldiers to keep them. So here's Simon Peter he's been arrested. He's behind two gates he's chained. The two guards.

It is guarded by 14 more. There is no way Peter is going to get out of that prison cell and so I'm sure that those soldiers heard the gospel being Shane to Simon Peter probably told him all about Jesus and what I'm really amazed by his in the story of Peter was able to sleep through all that she was facing. He had a calm in the midst of the storm okay so James is been killed. Peter is been arrested. It's almost certain that Peter will also be executed. So what did the church do we read here in X12. The church organized a protest and stormed Herod's palace now. Actually we don't read that, but we do read the church organized a boycott of all products made in Rome, though they didn't do that either, nor do we read that the church were done with swords and smote Herod and the soldiers know we don't read that. Instead, the church unleashed their secret weapon and it's our secret weapon as well and I'm talking about prayer, love verse five of X12 constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. Though all other doors were closed one door remained open the door of prayer the door into the presence of God the way through the Peter was the one through God, but let's be honest a lot of times. Prayer is our last resort will try to work it out some other way. All figure it out all resolve this, but we can all will know all we could do is pray. That's the first thing you should have done the first thing Paul says in Philippians 4. Don't worry about anything, pray about everything in the peace of God that passes all human understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. What are you facing right now. Pray about it bring it before the Lord is a will. This is too small. Is it bring it to the Lord will this is too big. No, the Bible as the question rhetorically is anything too hard for the Lord. I love with the Bible tells us about Mary when she was asking about the amazing birth of Jesus that would happen to her in the Lord told her with God nothing is impossible. So let's see we can identify some take away trues for all of us to learn about prayer as modeled by the early church. The church that turned the world upside down.

If you're taking notes.

Here's point number one, the prayer that has power is the prayer that is offered to God.

The prayer that has power is the prayer that is offered to God. Verse five. Constant prayer was offered to God. You might say weight. With this in all prayer offered to God will know not necessarily a Jesus told the story about the Pharisees who love to stand on the street corners and give long eloquence, prayers, why to impress people, by the way, when you go to a restaurant and your food comes, it's a good thing to ask God to bless your food, but don't do long prayers. You don't need to pray for all the missionaries around the world to let the food go cold.

You just pray I've seen people residents make a big deal about it now.

Just pray and give thanks to the Lord, short prayers before the meal, but you see prayer can sometimes be a performance. It can be something we do to impress other people you know Isaiah and the other six chapter of his books as I saw the Lord sitting on his throne. He was high and lifted up in his glory filled the temple. And I said whoa is me. So when Isaiah was in the presence of God. He says woe is me, but sometimes in prayer people are saying look at me, look at how long my prayer is look at how eloquent my prayer is during worship, which is just prayers that the song people will worship in such a way to draw attention to themselves. No, you can be praying you can be worshiping and have no thought of God whatsoever. I mean think about times you been in church and and there's a worship sect going on and and you're not praying you're thinking about what you getting out for lunch or you're judging what someone in front of me was wearing the church see it's very easy to pray with no thought of God, no constant prayers were offered to God for him by the church he hears the real objective of prayer. It's to get our will and alignment with God. Jesus said in John 15.

If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask for yourself what you will and it shall be done for you if you were to go back to the original Greek and translate that it would go along these lines, Jesus speaking.

If you maintain a living communion with me. My word is at home in you.

You can ask at once for yourself. Whatever your heart desires. It will be yours. I got promise but don't miss the condition yes the promises as at once for yourself. Whatever your heart desires. But if you're maintaining the living communion with Jesus and his word is at home and you you're going to start praying for would God want you to have so the objective of prayer is not to get God to do what I want him to do is to get me to do what God wants to do. Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance is taking hold of his willingness so get your will and alignment with God and make sure your prayer is to God.

And it's not some kind of a performance number two they prayed with passion and persist. They prayed with passion and persistence again. Look at verse five. Constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. Constant prayer this phrase constant prayer could be translated earnest prayer or they were stretching out in prayer. Have you ever had something just beyond your reach. You know, maybe you're under your couch and you're trying to reach something that's a little too far. That's the way they were. Pray they were just reaching out to heaven like Lord, hear our prayer. Right now another way this could be translated as they prayed with agony. It's a word that speaks of intense desire. By the way, it's the same word to describe the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22 verse 44, when it says he prayed more earnestly. This was not some ho-hum all Lord just say Peter amen this was all God, Lord, hear our prayer Lord, don't let Peter be put to death. Maybe they step this prayer more after James died, did they pray for James when he was in prison I think they probably did but probably not with the same intensity that they had now as they were praying for Peter because these were dire circumstances and they were desperate there crying out to God, and I think sometimes, much of our prayer has no power and it because there's no heart in it is important to put any hard and praying our prayer, we expect God to put hard in answering our prayer.

I love this passionate prayer constant prayer was offered to him by the church and it was const not just one prayer. You know sometimes we give up too easily. We pray for something that doesn't happen. We say will and must not be God's will. Lord I pray that my son will walk with you always. Not walking with you. Well I guess that's the will of God for him to not walk with God or I prefer something else or they need your provision and you know receivable I just got his newly give it to me or you're sick and you pray for the Lord to heal you and you're not healed, I just got doesn't want to heal me.

Well, maybe that's true God doesn't heal everyone. God does not always answer our prayers.

The way that we praise him but listen when you're praying for son or daughter to come to the Lord, you know you're praying according to the will of God is because Scripture tells us God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, so I mentioned my mother in my last message and the life she lived in and I don't want to tell you my mom did commit herself the Lord through the end of her life.

I prayed for her for over 30 years 30 years. That's a long time, but the Lord heard those prayers and she finally came around toward the end of her life and committed her life to Jesus Christ. So don't give up praying for your mom and dad or your son and daughter or your husband or wife or anyone you know is not right with the Lord. Keep praying. Keep asking Jesus to ask and it shall be given seeking you shall find, knock and the door will be open so there praying. Oh God intervene. Oh God, hear our prayer. Remember, Jesus said it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom of God. Once, to answer your prayer. But always, according to his will. That's why it's always a good PS in your prayers. To add these words. Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done. Listen abroad since every prayer is answered yes no or wake. See, we think, no is not an answer.

It is an answer, Lord, will you do this know well, God rejected me know God just said no and he has his purposes for that and other times he'll say yes and other times he'll say, wait, listen. Sometimes God says go. Sometimes God says slow and sometimes God says grow.

Let me illustrate that sometimes God says no Paul the apostle had which he described as a thorn in the flesh.

We don't know what that was exactly, but it appears to have been some kind of a physical ailment.

Don't forget Paul was shipwrecked.

He was beaten with rods he was stone not back in the stone stone with rocks and so this guy took a lot of physical abuse so it could have been an injury from one of those stone or something else but he said three times. I asked the Lord to take this away and God said, my grace is sufficient for you, so God effectively said no to Paul. But he gave them his grace. Number two sometimes God says slow Moses get the right idea.

He was preserved by God and taken into the court of the Pharaoh and he saw his fellow Jews being treated horribly and that he wanted them to be free and so one day he just went out took matters into his own hands and killed some Egyptian dude that was beating a Hebrew, and had to go to sell for 40 years. Moses had the right idea, God did eventually want to use him to deliver Israel out of the bondage of Egypt, but Moses kinda messed it up so God was saying to Moses. Slow, romantic, slow. Now getting ahead of me here.

Same thing happened to Jacob in the book of Genesis. He was to receive the birthright from God from his father Isaac, but he couldn't wait on the Lord's timing and he took matters into his own stand in his own hands and made a big mess out of it. But sometimes God says go and this is one of those instances.

So here they are praying for Peter and God was going to answer their prayer more quickly than they expected. Point number three.

They prayed together they prayed together again. Verse five. Constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church and remember the title of this message is what happens when Christians pray together. What happens when Christians pray together a lot. There's power in United prayer. Jesus said if any two of you shall agree on earth touching anything that they shall ask, it will be done for them of my father who is in heaven. That's in Matthew 1819. No leases agree on earth touching the means to believers, not just an agreement in general but to believers the same God-given burden service will align with the spirit of God, praying together. So pray with other Christian. The Bible says bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

So view of a burden.

Right now you have a problem right now. Call up a Christian friend and say what you pray for me and with me get a bunch of Christians together and safe. Could we all prayed together about this thing, and I would like to pray for whatever problems you're facing as well. There's power in United prayer. So these believers are praying together. Let's see how God answered their prayer go back to acts chapter 12 verse six I'm reading now from the new living translation the night before Peter was going to be placed on trial. He was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood at the prison gate. Suddenly there was a bright light in the cell and the angel of the Lord stood before Peter V. Angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said get up quickly and the chains fell off his wrist and then the angel said, get dressed and put on your sandals something apparent trying to get their kids ready for school or wake up wake up on your clothes let's go right put on your sandals and now put on your coat and follow me.

The angel ordered and Peter love the cell following the angel all this time he thought it was some kind of vision he didn't realize it was actually happening. They pass the first and the second guard posting came to an iron gate leading to the city and it opened to them by itself to adjusting the comes from a root word in the Greek that's translated automatic so it's like the supermarket, you come up in the door opens on its own. So now the door is open all by itself and they pass through the walking on the street and the angel suddenly leaves Peter and Peter came to his senses and he said it's really true. The Lord is in his angel and he is seeping from Herod, from the Jewish leaders and what they plan to do. I love this, when did this happen.

Notice verse six the night before Peter was placed on trial And state trial in a kangaroo court.

He was going to be convicted and executed immediately. So right before the trial widen the Lord answer this prayer a little bit earlier was sometimes the Lord allows these things so we will really realize that it's him that caught us through it. We read in the Gospels about how Jesus came to the disciples fighting a horrible storm in the little boat in the fourth watch the fourth watch. One is that that is the last watch of the night, that is right before the dawn rate right before the sun rises, so the Lord allowed the disciples to be completely exhausted and realize only Jesus could get them through this or out of this and so this happened the night before the Lord heard their prayer reminds us that prayer can be warfare in Ephesians chapter 6. It tells us that were fighting this spiritual battle were not fighting with flesh and blood were fighting with principalities and powers in supernatural authorities. So what is the Bible say it's is put on the helmet of salvation put on the breastplate of righteousness take up this shield of faith and unsheathed the sword of the Spirit and so this is something we need to realize and prayer.

It can be spiritual warfare. It's been said prayer is striking. The winning blow services, gathering up the results so what was Peter doing the angel came to them for success.

He was asleep. I love that it was asleep. It was probably the only Christian in Jerusalem sleeping that night is treated to Roman soldiers is facing the certainty of an execution.

The next day and yet he can sleep soundly.

I think Peter must've been a deep sleeper daughter know about you but I'm a very light sleeper. Anything will wake me up a bird two blocks away chirping in the night a week me out of a dead sleep.

The other nights it was the fourth not 4 July New Year's Eve right so some family was having a very loud party up the street that woke me up and went back to sleep and then like it. 130 in the morning there setting up fireworks in the street I wake up again. My wife Kathy slept through the whole thing. I don't even know how that's possible.

She's a deep sleeper like Peter Watson there's multiple times in the Bible we read about Peter sleeping and they were not good.

They're different from this time he was sleeping in the garden of Gethsemane going back there again. Jesus takes Peter James and John is his watch and pray for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak because in praise to the father comes back there asleep. Then there was the Mount of Transfiguration were again, Jesus took Peter, James and John, and he was transfigured shining like the sun on one side of him was Moses on the other side was Elijah. Peter was sleeping, he wakes up sees Jesus sees Moses sees Elijah aborts out. It's good we are here. One of Moses turned to Jesus and said, was that guys see with you as Jesus might've said he is with me. That's Simon Peter it's good we are here Peter says let's build three tents, one for Moses, one for Elijah one for Jesus, but the point was he was sleeping when he should have been away. Actually, the Bible says wake up and smell the coffee know the Bible doesn't say that but here's what the Bible does say in Romans 1311. You know how late it is. Time is running out. Wake up for your salvation is near than when we first believed. Listen to this people we have never been closer to the return of Jesus Christ that we are right now so be ready and be spiritually away while on this occasion, this was a good sleep because Peter had a calm in the midst of the storm some 48 says all lie down and sleep in peace for you alone. All Lord, make me dwell in safety someone 27 says the Lord gives his beloved sleep.

So Peter's rest in this set of circumstances came from the acceptance of God's promise. See when you go to bed at night, your mind is flooded with worry committed over to the Lord, Lord, I want to go to bed now.

I'll let you worry about it. But you know I trust all of my chair upon you because you promise in Scripture that you care for me in order sleeping pill and tranquilizer saturated society could take a lesson from Peter on trusting God.

So there's one final point about the prayers of this early church than this one might surprise you. They prayed doubt Tingley they prayed doubt Tingley. I'm not even sure doubt Tingley is a word but it certainly true in this instance all yes they prayed with passion. Oh yes, they prayed together, but they obviously prayed with doubt because look at what happens next. Go back to acts 12 verse 12 again in reading from the new living translation.

So here's Peter is out of the prison. The chains of come off the doors open automatically. The angel split and it's dawning on him.

I am free and here's what took place next Wednesday. Realize this. Verse 12 he went to the home of Mary the mother of John Mark where many were gathered for prayer, no doubt for Peter. He knocked at the door of the gate in his servant girl named Rhoda came to open it and when she recognized Peter's voice.

She was so overjoyed instead of opening the door she ran back inside and told everyone. Peter is standing at the door. I don't miss verse 15 your out of your mind. They said the way the translated your crazy team but she insisted they decided it must be his angel well with you. Let's just enjoy lemming of an angel knocked on my door. I would certainly let the angel lit must be his angel they say. Meanwhile, Peter's naughty and they finally open the door and saw him, they were amazed any motion for them to quiet down and told him how the Lord led them out of prison. Tell James and the other apostles. What is happened and then he went to another place. You have to see the humor in this story.

This is funny Peter could apparently get out of a prison with God simply couldn't get into a prayer meeting. No doubt a premeeting freehand that is so disappointing it's it's so shameful it's so like us O tell me you ever prayed for something amendment shop God answered you. Here are the great apostles of faith all Lord save Peter all Lord delivered Peter all Lord, hear our prayer.

All Lord there's a knock at the door. What is that some we get the door.

Rhoda, go get the door.

All Lord delivered Peter everybody, Peter, Sarah, are you crazy see that they didn't believe in sometime were shocked when God answers our prayer. Notice the plural pronouns there in verse 16 when it says they open the door and they were amazed I get the impression that they decided to open the door together.

Let's all go together and and face this together and they open the door. They were so thrilled and delighted to see Peter alive and well.

Standing before them that there were so loud.

Peter does HI County because in order to get rearrested again. So this was a great moment were God heard their prayers, so let's pull the camera back and see the big picture look at how things change because of passionate, powerful prayer the beginning we as see a seemingly all-powerful King Herod, wreaking havoc on the church. Had the power of government the power of the sword and the threat of prison but the Christians they had the power of prayer, the story ends in X12 with the great King Herod giving a speech that was meant by adulation from the people they began to chant the words its employees of a God and not of a man. You know it's interesting the ancient historian Josephus commenting on the same event says that Herod was dressed from head to toe in silver so it was probably some kind of a roof electives silver cloth he was wearing her thread that caused the sun to reflect off of you may be shining like the sun. So here's Herod, head to toe in silver shining in front of the people gives a great speech all your God is like figure very much when you very much and God judged him in the Bible tells him she died in worms HQ so I don't know if that was immediate and he was sick and by worms or of a few days later they realize he was after you died that he was infested by worms on a no pretty gross for a while. Look at this story and how it turned around at the beginning of the chapter carrot is on the rampage arresting the persecuting church leaders at the end, he is struck down and he dies. The chapter opens with Jean's dead Peter in prison, and Herod triumphing. It closes with Herod dead Peter free and the word of God triumphing.

Listen to this. It's not over till it's over solder what you're going through right now. You see, this is it is no way out. Well, pray call out to God, constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church and death King by the way, little footnote those guards that were in charge of keeping Peter imprisoned were all executed by King Herod. How sad.

I'm sure they heard the gospel from Peter. I hope they believe in Jesus Christ because you know what death is gonna come to every man and every woman will come to the famous will come to the unknown and will come to the rich will come to the poor doesn't matter if you write a Harley or a Vespa or drive a Ferrari or previous everyone eventually will stand before their maker. We were all shocked and surprised to hear of the tragic passing of actor Bob Saget at age 65. He was on the show Full House. He was described by many as America's dad and also he hosted the show America's funniest home videos and he was out doing a comedy tour in did his performance that night in Florida went back to his hotel and they found him dead in his hotel room. This tragic event happened on the heels of the death of Betty White who actually made it to age 99 and interestingly after Betty White died, Bob Saget wrote this on his Instagram in the tribute to her. He said in a quote she always said the love of her life was her husband, Alan London, who she lost in 1981. Well, writes Bob Saget. If things worked out of the afterlife. They are reunited. I don't know what happens when we die, but it Betty says you get to be with the love of your life that I happily defer to Betty on this." I don't know what happens when we die, wrote Bob Saget listen, I do and I don't say that with arrogance. I've just read the Bible. The Bible says there's an afterlife. We leave this life we go to the afterlife and the Bible says there is the hope and promise of heaven, and there is also a help, and we choose in this life will we will spend the afterlife, but if you will put your faith in Jesus Christ. You will be reunited with loved ones who preceded you to the other side. Jesus said I am the resurrection of the life he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live in is whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. This is the promise to the follower of Jesus. Now let me ask you one close. What if this were your last day on earth. Your last night on earth and you had your final meal and you gave your final statement. Where will you spend eternity.

I know I will go to heaven when I die, not because I'm a good person because I'm not obese or but because they serve a good God was. Promise me forgiveness through Jesus Christ is the heaven is not for good people. The idea that is believed by many as heaven is for people who live good lives hell is for people who live bad lives. Heaven is not for good people. Heaven is for pregiven people. Have you been forgiven of your set all you need to be because every one of us in and by sin I mean, we break God's commandments and we fall short of the standards of Bible says all of sin and fallen short of the glory of God. But the Bible also says why we were yet sinners, Christ died for us was talking to an older gentleman the other day I was with a friend rev and a couple coffee and read this little table and this old dude is looking for a place to sit.

He says can I sit here at your table. We said sure sit down while he had an amazing life you'd actually been a little boy during World War II and he had seen the Nazis invade.

He was from the Netherlands and die and he told us a bunch of stories about his life and in what he did for a living and so forth. Then he asked me what would you do for a living I said while I'm a pastor.

He was all surprised and so he started asking questions why God allows suffering walk. Why does this happen why does that happen and so I got to the subject of Jesus and of this meant happen to be an engineer and I said you know, I know it's hard to believe some of the miracles you read about in the Bible because he said it's hard for me to believe these miracles, I said you're an engineer you know what it takes to build something and when you look at this world, you realize that God has created it. God has built it, but sinners.

Sinners entered the human race.

But then I told him and that's why Jesus came. I said Sir you know why Jesus came to this earth looked at me from only says no I don't. Said he came to die first because we broken God's commandments, we fallen short of his glory. But Jesus died for us and rose again from the dead, and this is what we all need to know. We don't have to be afraid to die. If Christ is living in our heart and is he living in your life right now.

Remember how Peter was on the outside of this little prayer meeting, knocking the kid up and then analogy Jesus says behold I stand at the door and I not if you hear my voice, and open the door, I will commit right now if you're not a Christian, Jesus Christ the same. Let me into your life. Let me forgive you of your sins.

Let's start this relationship together.

I'm standing at the door and I'm knocking someone was on your porch knocking at the door of your house or at your apartment door if you wanted to come and you need to open the door and invite the men in the same is true of Jesus. If you want him in your life if you want your sins forgiven. If you want to go to heaven when you die.

Only you can open that door to your heart, so to speak to.

Here's what I'd like to do like to lead you in a prayer to us Christ to come in your life if you want your sins forgiven. If you want to know that you will go to heaven when you die if you want to fill their big hole in your heart. I would ask you to pray this prayer, lead you, so if you would please just stop what you're doing if you can you can close your eyes if you like and pray this prayer out loud after me. This is a prayer of asking Christ to come into your heart and life. Pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin rose again from the dead, Jesus I choose to follow you from this moment forward be my Savior, my Lord be my God and my friend. Thank you for hearing this prayer in answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray, amen. Everybody thinks you're listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it.

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