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Our focus last week in Acts 12 was the rescue of Peter, but today we are going to look at the prayers lifted up by the Church of behalf of Peter and their reaction to the answer to their prayers that they received. From examining this I think that you will see that sometimes we miss the answers to prayer that God gives. We’re so focused on looking for the answer we’re expecting, or we want, that we miss the answer God gives. I. The Church was praying (Acts 12:5) A. Constantly B. Earnestly C. The stress of the moment drove them to more intense prayer D. This should be the state of the Church…We should be in earnest, constant prayer 1. There is power in united prayer (Matthew 18:19) 2. There is power in intense prayer (Jeremiah 29:13, James 5:16-18) II. When we pray like this the supernatural happens A. I know for certain the Lord has sent His angel (Acts 12:11) B. He has delivered me from Herod C. He has delivered me from the expectation of the Jewish people D. He considered for a moment what he should do next E. He decided to go to Mary’s house (Acts 12:12) 1. The mother of John Mark 2. Many were gathered there praying F. He knocked at the door – evidently it was locked III. When we pray like this, surprising things happen A. Rhoda – referred to as a girl – answered the door (Acts 12:13) B. She didn’t open the door but she asked who it was and recognized Peter’s voice C. Rhoda believed God had answered their prayers – in an unexpected way (Acts 12:14) 1. She was excited 2. She didn’t let the answer in D. The praying adults inside weren’t expecting this answer (Acts 12:15) 1. They thought that she was just being emotional and was imagining things 2. They decided it couldn’t be Peter, must be his guardian angel – rationalized E. Peter kept knocking F. Eventually an adult opened the door and discovered Peter (Acts 12:16) IV. The answer to prayer realized by all (Acts 12:17) A. The praying church’s reaction when they understood God’s unexpected answer? 1. They were all excited and noisy then 2. Peter even had to quiet them down B. Peter tells his story and takes next steps 1. He told them to go tell James, Jesus’ brother 2. Peter, in the mean time, departed and went to a secret location When we pray we should be looking for the answer and be ready to receive the answer. Many times we’re so focused on looking for the answer we’re expecting that we miss the answer God gives. When we do that we miss out on the joy of answered prayer.
As the people of Israel faced giants in their day and the Lord was with them and overcame the giants so He is with His people today in overcoming the "giants" they face.
How conflict when done in humility is a win win.
The essential mark of Christian discipleship is love for one another. This "Agape" love of Christianity is cheerful and sacrificial giving for the physical and spiritual good of others. In this message, Pastor Jeremy teaches on the glory of love, the law of love and the power of love through Christ for our everyday lives.