A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: Fervent Praying?

"Then Peter was indeed kept in the prison, but fervent prayer was made
by the church to God on his behalf." (Acts12:5)

Do you ever wonder why it seems God doesn't answer prayer? Some will
tell you that you need to learn how to pray "fervently". After all, the
church made "fervent prayer" for Peter. Some will suggest that you need
to "pray hard". I've never understood such a statement. Like I've
suggested in other writings, does one take a deep breath, squint, hold
the breath and -push-! ..? Does one grunt and groan a lot, and even cry
tears of deep emotion?

Let's look at Peter and this particular church that 'prayed'. The night
before Peter would have been killed, the Lord delivers him out of
prison. (vs11) And once Peter realizes it's not a dream, but he's
really free, he goes to Mary's house where the group is
gathered...doing what? Praying. They are, at that moment...praying.
Praying for what? Peter's release from prison.

So Peter shows up at the door, and Rhoda excitedly says, "Peter's at
the door! Peter's at the door! Come quick! He's at the door!"

Now, remember...they are praying that Peter might be released. So, what
is their response? "Oh, wonderful. Praise the Lord for answering our
prayer!" ..??  Oh...Rhoda! You silly girl! Peter's not there. You're
crazy!

No! It's true...he's there! Come and see!

Oh, it couldn't be! It must be his angel! His ghost...

Now, when they finally are persuaded and come to the door, and see
Peter, what is their reaction? "They..were amazed." (vs16)

QUESTION:  What was it that obtained Peter's release from prison? Was
it their "fervent praying"?  What does James say about "ones who
doubt"? (Jas1:6)  "..do not let that man suppose that he will receive
anything from the Lord.." (vs7)

"And all things, whatever you may ask in prayer, believing, you shall
receive." (Mt21:22)  "And whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because
we keep His commandments, and we do the things pleasing before Him."
(1Jn3:22)  If you are willfully sinning, harboring little 'pet' sins,
not being obedient to His Word...in WHATEVER it may be...don't expect
God to answer your prayers. If the two of you married each other after
having been divorced, knowing God's Word on the matter, don't expect
Him to hear your prayers. If your church disobediently is engaging the
unsaved to 'help' and join in your assembly, don't be surprised when
God doesn't bless your fellowship. It's not enough to "believe" in
God's answers, if we are willfully sinning against Him. "But your
iniquities are coming between you and your God; and your sins have
hidden His face from you, from hearing." (Is59:2)  If you "ask wrongly,
in order that you may spend on your lusts" (Jas4:3) you will not be
answered, either, because you are not asking "according to His will"
(1Jn5:14)

No, it was not the "fervent" POWER OF PRAYER that saved Peter... It was
THE LORD (Acts12:17)... IN SPITE OF their unbelief.

Amen!