But the Church Prayed

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost set in motion a tidal wave of evangelism and miraculous manifestation of the power of God throughout the world.  Believers were filled with boldness and proclaimed the message of Jesus with signs following.  The infant Church was off to a blazing start. This magnificent beginning did not happen, however, without intense opposition.  Persecution of the followers of Jesus became the order of the day.

An example of this persecution is found in Acts 12.  King Herod killed James and because this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter.  Peter was placed in prison with the plan to present him to the angry and threatened populous after Passover.  It seems there is an all-out attack against the leadership of the Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ did not have any political clout.  They were, by no means, the majority.  Their ability to maneuver through these attacks in the legal system or even public opinion did not exist.  They did, however, have a source of power that the world could not counteract.  Verse 5 of Acts 12 tells us the church prayed.

This constant prayer offered to God by the Church brought divine intervention.  Peter was miraculously delivered from prison!  This would be only one of many times help would come through prayer.

Throughout history the people of God have encountered great challenges but when they prayed God moved on their behalf.

In the Old Testament

Israel was surrounded and attacked by enemy nations…but they prayed and God delivered them.

God’s people came under the authority of wicked kings and governments who brought idols and all kinds of perversion to the forefront…but they prayed and God intervened.

They faced times of famine and pestilence…but they prayed and God provided and protected.

They failed God and turned away from Him…but they prayed and repented and God restored them.

They followed God’s direction and built a tabernacle in which He would dwell…and as they prayed fire fell from Heaven and the presence of God went with them.

In the New Testament

The Church faced immense persecution…but they prayed and God sustained them.

They faced times of great need…but they prayed and God miraculously provided.

They faced times of controversy and question…but they prayed and God gave wisdom and direction.

They faced times of sickness – even death…but they prayed and God healed and restored life.

They had times of intense hunger for God…and they prayed and God sent revival. (Once even praying until the place shook where they were!)

There are many examples in our lifetime of great challenge and attack on various fronts, but we are still here because we prayed.  Prayer has been, both, a defensive and offensive weapon that has never failed to produce victory.  Praying people have always overcome.

Today, we find ourselves in uncharted water.  Our battles are more intense and our enemy seems more sophisticated.  Some have lost hope and assumed our best days are behind us.  Like those captured by the Babylonians in Psalm 137, they are convinced the song of the Lord will never be sung again.  It’s over.

But, I see an army rising up that refuses to take the defeatist approach.  They recognize this may be a season of great trial but it is also a season to be the people of God.  Just as other generations have faced tests, this is their test and its only a test!  They will not depend on their abilities or strengths.  They will not be moved by what others are doing.  They will find victory where it has always been found.  They will pray.

Every believer can be part of this praying army.  No circumstance or situation will be a match for these who are committed to prayer.  Like those before us, our story will be marked by an enemy assault but it will also tell of powerful conquest…because the church prayed.

26 thoughts on “But the Church Prayed

  1. Les,
    This is a very timely word that brings encouragement, as well as a deep sense of motivation, to seek the Lord in prayer. Our circumstances are rapidly changing, however, you have reminded us that our God remains the same! Thank you for sharing.


  2. Great devotional and inspiring word Les. It is no wonder the great Apostle urged “Pray without ceasing”IThess.5:17


  3. Awesome my brother it would be hard not to preach that last part on the old and new testament prayers i enjoyed it Thank You


  4. Please check out my friend and mentor, Les Higgins’s blog on the role of the Church during times like these, past, present, and future. Les Higgins reminds and calls us back to our greatest strength–prayer.

    Philippians 4:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

    6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Les,

    This is food for my spirit this morning. What an encouraging word. We all need reminders like this periodically. Thank you for your leadership to our movement. What a blessing. I anxiously look forward to your next blog.

    Don R. Chavis


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