Do you pray? Is your life any different because of your prayers? If not, why do you pray?
Peter and John had been arrested by the ruling high council of Jerusalem. They were charged with teaching so-called false doctrine. Their teaching was about Jesus and His resurrection. The event that prompted their arrest was the healing of a lame man who begged outside of the Temple gates.
Following their release, Peter and John joined the other followers of Jesus at a special worship service. The reason for the gathering was to give thanks that the disciples had been released. After they praised, they prayed.
What happened when they prayed? Were they different men and women than they were before they prayed? Did any benefits follow? Did they experience any change in their situation? Was the night as black as it had been before? Were their souls still parched and dry? Or was there a baptism of heaven’s rain? What happened?
“When they had prayed,” if nothing happened, then would you have blamed the disciples if they never prayed again? If no benefits followed, would they waste their time on a fruitless exercise? If prayer does not help, then we cannot be expected to pray.
When they had prayed they were, first of all, filled with the Holy Ghost. Jesus promised He would not leave His disciples as orphans, but would send another Comforter to them. These men were filled with the Holy Spirit in answer to prayer.
They needed the power of God’s Spirit if they were to minister effectively to their world and their time. That same Spirit of Power is needed by followers of Jesus today. We have been forced to realize again and again the truth of Zechariah’s proclamation:
“It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord.”
The second result that followed when they had prayed was that “they spake the Word with boldness.” Prayer brought them new courage. They could face new situations without fear. They could perform tasks that had previously seemed totally out of their capabilities.
The third result of their prayer was that they were “of one heart and one soul.” They became a united people.
Did you ever see a church torn by division? Mistrust and misunderstanding reduced an effective, ministering body to just another bickering, backbiting congregation. They no longer represented the body of the Living Lord.
When they had prayed, fourthly, “no man said that anything that he possessed was his own.” In other words, prayer fostered a sense of stewardship. They did not claim their possessions belonged to themselves. They did not even claim ownership of their own lives. They realized they were bought with a price, and they literally put all they had at the disposal of the Lord.
Prayer overcomes stinginess. Men and women who had great possessions counted them as small change for the opportunity to use those things for God. When God is acknowledged as the owner of everything, generosity breaks out. Giving increases. Selfishness begins to disappear.
Fifth, when they had prayed, “great grace was upon them.” Gracious Christians are attractive Christians. It is an inside beauty that shows how ugly the world is. It is an inside beauty that is a reflection of a lovely Lord.
Finally, when they had prayed, “the place was shaken where they were assembled.” Prayer shakes things. Prayer has the same power today. If it has been some time since you felt that power, isn’t it time you prayed?
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Transcript from: Oasis (813) 684-3300
Aired on Tuesday October 7, 2014 on Christian radio station WIHS 104.9 FM (WIHSradio.org). Middletown, CT USA.
Please check your local, Christian radio programming for a listing of the scheduled times The Oasis program is aired.
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Oasis transcript used by permission