Pray with Expectancy
Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.—Acts 12:16
The first-century Christians were people just like us. They were flawed. Yes, they prayed fervently. Yes, they prayed together. But they also prayed with an element of doubt.
This comes out clearly in Acts 12 as they prayed for Peter, who had been thrown into prison by King Herod. Herod had just executed James. No doubt they feared that Peter would be next. So while Peter was in prison, “constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (verse 5).
Then something amazing happened. God sent an angel to Peter in his cell. His chains fell off, the door opened, and the angel led him out of the prison. Then Peter went to the house where the believers were praying and knocked on the door. The stunned servant who answered it left Peter standing there as she ran to tell everyone. But they refused to believe her.
God could get Peter out of a prison, but Peter couldn’t get himself into a prayer meeting. The very answer to their prayer was standing at the door, and they did not believe.
But even though their prayer was weakened, it still was mightier than Herod and mightier than hell. Clearly there is a place for faith in our prayers. And no doubt, on many occasions, our prayers have been hindered because we didn’t pray with any faith whatsoever.
Having said that, I certainly don’t agree with the so-called Word-Faith teachers who would tell us faith is a force that must be harnessed and that we speak things into existence. Rather, Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
There is a place for faith. And even if your faith is weak, come with as much faith as you have.
Copyright © 2016 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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A Call Back to Faith
Watching a loved one stray from God is one of the hardest things for Christians to cope with. What are we to do? What can we do? Do we have a part to play in restoring a person who has fallen away? Yes we do.
Come Home by James MacDonald talks about practical things you can do (or avoid doing) to call your prodigal back to faith. Receive a copy when you give a gift of support to Harvest Ministries this month.