Pray With And For The Church (Body Of Believers)
"Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God." Acts 12:1-5
One of my favorite events described in the Bible occurs in Acts chapter 12. This is because it is a beautiful illustration of the church body functioning the way God planned. It's interesting to note up until Acts 12 the church was experiencing many conversions, including Paul, so it was an exciting time to be a Christian. However, all this excitement quickly ends as Herod Agrippa I begins to oppose the Christians. His harassment of the Jews is very popular with the general population so from a political standpoint this was very pleasing to Herod. (By the way, he is the grandson of Herod the Great, who ruled at the time of Jesus birth and he was the nephew of Herod Antipas, who had a role in the trial of Jesus.) In verse 2, Herod orders the death of James who becomes the first of the twelve disciples to be martyred. Herod wanting to continue to improve his popularity orders Peter to be imprisoned. As a result, we see the Body of Believers then respond in prayer. This wasn't just a casual prayer, but rather intense, ardent, all-consuming intercessory prayer. They demonstrated desperation for prayer in this situation. We know the priority the Church had for prayer from Acts 2:42 says "They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
The bottom line of this is that the Church prayed. Is there a better way to express love and concern for each other in this Family, our Body, than praying for each other? I want to encourage those who are in Community Groups to participate when prayer times are announced. I encourage you to participate in a Sunday Night prayer time at wvBc held the 5th Sunday where there are five Sundays in a month.
Can the Church have any more powerful testimony than it be said "they devoted themselves…….. to prayer"?
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16
Dedicated to Prayer