BY MRS. SAMUEL HARDT
This article appeared first in the 1970 Pentecostal Herald dedicated to the Ladies Auxiliary. It later appeared in the Apostolic Newspaper, May and June 1988 issues.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us ” (Ephesians 3:20).
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself strongly emphasized the privilege and power of prayer. He became our example in the days of His flesh, when, with strong crying and tears, He offered His prayers to God.
The early church was born in the atmosphere of prayer and supplication. Since we are part of the superstructure of that glorious church, we must be identified, not only in the apostles’ doctrine, but also in
prayers (Acts 2:42). Through the channel of prayer, we can pass from weakness to strength and from struggle to victory.
Oh, the possibilities of this work of prayer! The Spirit helpeth our infirmities (Romans 8:26, 27), but He will not do our praying for us. As we yield to Him, He will intercede through us, teaching us how to pray and direct our prayers into the will of God. The divine in us will appeal to the Divine above us. Deep calleth to deep. Intercession is love at pi-aver.
So often we hear the faithless words, “Why go? It’s only a prayer meeting.” But the strength and spirituality of the church can be measured by the prayer service. That is where revivals are born. For the prayer level is the power level. The glorious ministry of prayer is open to us all.
In Acts 12:12, we read of a prayer meeting at the house of John Mark’s mother, Mary. Mary was not afraid to get involved when the church was undergoing severe persecution, the first conflict for the church with
civil authorities. Her house became a house of prayer, a sanctuary for the prayer warriors of the church in that time of crisis. Acts 12 begins with Herod stretching forth his hands to vex the church. He killed James with the sword and proceeded to take Peter also.
When we view, from the natural standpoint, the vivid scene in verses 4 and 5, the situation seems apparently all one-sided. On Herod’s side was the power of Rome, civil authority, legions of soldiers, prison
walls, three sets of gates, sixteen guards, and chains. Not much hope for Peter! But prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for Peter! There was no lip service here, or vain repetitions, but
intense, earnest, intercessory prayer. The praying church was pitted against all the vexation of Herod. (Read Ephesians 6:12.) Jesus said of His church, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Though
Herod planned to execute Peter the next day, we see Peter sleeping peacefully between two soldiers, bound by chains, with guards at the doors. Herod made sure he would not escape. But he did not know he was dealing with the “Head of the Church.”
All power is His in heaven and in earth. His power must fill His body in the earth today, if we would see the same mighty works- It is not how much we are doing for PrGod, but what He is doing through us, that
While the church prayed, God sent an angel. A light shined in the dark prison, and the angel smote Peter saying, “Arise up quickly, gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals.” And so he did. His chains fell off Obediently he followed the angel. He led him past the first and second ward, and past the guards. They came to the iron gate that led to the city, and even that great barrier could not stand in their way. It simply opened of its “own accord,” and they went out.
God can open the “Iron gates” before us. Those heavy barriers that we cannot move, He can make them as electric eye doors! The God of the early church ever liveth, and His presence is with us today.
When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent Ms angel, and hath delivered me out of the hands of Herod…… We find him making his way to Mary’s house. Peter seemed
to trust that he would find the saints there praying, even at the last watch of the night.
When Peter knocked at the gate to Mary’s house, his knock was answered by a young girl named Rhoda. God bless the “young Rhoda’s” who also attend the prayer meetings, and share the burden of the church. They get to see, first-hand, the miraculous answers to prayer. Peter’s mighty deliverance, in answer to their fervent prayers, was far above all the church could ask or think. They were astonished, Their prayers had prevailed.
The Lord longs to show us great and mighty things which we know not, if we will only call upon Him (Jeremiah 33:3). For He is rich unto all that will call upon Him (Romans 10: 12). Although the twelfth chapter of Acts opens with Herod stretching forth his hands to vex and destroy the church, it closes with an account of his destruction. But the church went marching on! Prayer had prevailed.
In II Corinthians 1:8-11, the Apostle Paul asked for prayer for deliverance from pressure. He was pressed without measure, so that he despaired even of his life. He expected deliverance through their prayers. In the midst of apostasy, shifting opinions, and the pressures of these last days, how we need to earnestly pray for the ministry, for each faithful missionary and minister and their families, as they continue to preach and teach the glorious gospel.
May God give us many homes like Mary’s, where the cry of the intercessors can be heard in this hour of crisis. Sing on! Pray on! We are gaining ground. THE CHURCH IS STILL MARCHING ON! PRAYER WILL
“Faith makes all things possible; Love makes all things easy.”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY APOSTOLIC ACCENT, PAGES 5,8. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.