June 24th, 2013
Acts 12:12 “And when he (PETER HAS JUST BEEN MIRACULOUSLY DELIVERED) 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.”
The Most Dramatic New Testament Story concerning being in a Prayer Partnership is recorded for us in the 12th Chapter Of Acts. Here King Herod, representing the Subtle, Fearful, and Overwhelming Power Of The Devil, is pictured in Opposition To The Church! The Enemy's Single Purpose in Every Age is to Silence The Voice Of The Gospel, but God's Mighty Answer Is Always the working Power Of Prayer At Work Among His People. We Must Defeat Every Attempt Of Satanto Stop The Gospel. Notice 3 important features about this Prayer Meeting:
I. The People Partnered In Prayer!
Satan has done his best to incarcerate Bro. Peter and to Silence The Message Of The Gospel. God's response was to draw together A Simple Group Of Believers To Pray. There were 3 Classes Of People present at that prayer meeting:
1. There Was The Mary Class!
It was at "... the house of Mary the mother of John ... where many were gathered together praying". Mary represents the Influential People, she appears to have some Wealth and Influence. Mary had a house Large Enough to be used as a Meeting Place For The Early Church. Thank god for the Mary’s down through the ages, Who Make Their Homes Available for Ministry,Christian Fellowship, and Housing Guest Preachers.
2. There Was The Rhoda Class!
Acts 12:13 “And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.” (MEANS "Rose")
Rhoda represents the Insignificant People. Without question, she was a familiar servant who answered the door. What A Fragrance Her Name And Life Have Given The Christian Church Throughout The Centuries! From this we learn that while God certainly uses Influential People, God Never Despises Insignificant People. The prayers of Rhodawere just as effective and acceptable as those of Mary.
3. There Was The Many Class!
Acts 12:12 “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.” (THIS IS THE INCONSPICUOUS PEOPLE)
Since the beginning of the church, the majority of its members have been comprised of the Many Class, and this is how it will be till the end of time, when Christ returns to receive His own. It does not matter what label the world puts on us the Bible says in, Romans 2:11 “For there is no respect of persons with God.”
He does not see us as the Influential People, or the Insignificant People, or the Inconspicuous People, He simply sees us as people at prayer. Thank God, anyone can pray who knows the Cleansing Of The Precious Blood, the Renewing Of The Holy Spirit, and the Inspiration Of The Holy Scriptures. Are you in this Prayer Partnership?
II. The Purpose Of Partners In Prayer!
Acts 12:12 “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.”
2 Aspects Of Prayer are seen in this Partnership. First, there was Unity In Prayer, any differences that might have separated people from one another were now completely lost in the Unity of the Purpose of prayer. This is, undoubtedly, the First Secret Of Prevailing Prayer.
God said in,Matthew 18:19 “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” God also said in, Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” This is where God pours out the precious oil of His Spirit and distills the dew of his blessing.
Significantly enough, when the disciples gathered together to pray for the outpouring of the spirit on the day of Pentecost it is recorded in that, Acts 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
There was urgency in prayer in our text. Acts 12:5 “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”
Which is the Second Secret Of Prevailing Prayer. It is the Prayer Of Self-Denial- The prayer that spells death to anything that would Interfere with the Findingand Fulfilling of God's Purpose. When people gather to pray with this sense of urgency they are Praying In The Power Of The Cross and therefore they are Praying With The Purpose Of The Cross!
Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Maybe the reason we so many still struggle in bondage is because so many will not deny themselves.
In Luke’s account a powerful fact to added, Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
III. The Power Of Partnering In Prayer!
Acts 12:10 “When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.”
Remember that Peter Had Been Cast Into Prison and James Had Been Beheaded With The Sword. As a result, Christians Were Apprehensive As To What Would Happen To Peter and, more importantly, What Would Happen To The Gospel Itself. So they prayed unceasingly. God has so ordered it that miracles on earth are always the outcome of prayer. This case was no exception. The Power Of God was revealed in 2 Ways. When Rhoda reported that Peterwas Standing Outside The Door They Thought She Was Crazy.
There was an Unusual Demonstration of power inActs 12:15 “And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.” How Human! Everyone in that room was praying for a miracle but no one was expecting a miracle!
There was an Undeniable Demonstration of power inActs 12:14 “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.”
When God hears prayer the answer is both Unusualand Undeniable!