The Power of Prayer Acts 12: 1-10 - Sermon

 The Power of Prayer - Sermon

The Power of Prayer - Peter, therefore, was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing. Acts 12: 1-10. hymnslab sermon

The Power of Prayer - Sermon


Text: Acts 12: 1-10

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Today, we want to talk about the Engine house of every child of God. I mean the lifeline of every believer. Yes, prayer is all of that. It is the master key - the key that opens the door other keys may not open. Let's see our bible passage:

Acts 12: 1-10

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.

And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)

And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

Peter, therefore, was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.

And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.

10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.

The Power of Prayer - Sermon

When a child of God understands the power of prayer, it will help to shape his or her thinking and know his or her position as a child of God. Prayer is like an AK47 in the hand of a believer. But the carrier will never give it value if he doesn't know what is given to him.

In fact, the AK47, no matter how loaded it is will never make use of itself unless the carrier touches the trigger. I have come to know some believers who are accidental shooters. That is, they touch the trigger by mistake or by compulsion. I have also known some who have this power but never make use of it.

One indisputable fact about prayer is that it is an open license to all believers. You have been licensed to make use of it, I am too. What matters is how and when you use it. There are reasons why it works for some and it doesn't work for others.

We are discussing the power of prayer but I want to tell you that there are people who pray a powerless prayer. Yes. There is power in prayer.

However, there are ways we go about it and miss the result. It is just like the rod of Moses that had done several miracles. It was the same rod that brought out bitter water because it was used wrongly. James 4: 3 says; "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts".

Here are 3 levels of Prayer:

  • Extempore

This is praying the way you have learned or you have been taught. There is nothing actually wrong with it. The children begin with this level of prayer. We pray this way when we are baby Christians.

  • Praying the Scriptures
I call this method taking back God's words to Him or reminding Him of His words and promises. An amateur cannot pray this kind of prayer. You must know what the Word of God says in your bible to be able to pray this kind of prayer. 

Here, we study God's words and pray along or pray when we are done studying the scripture. This kind of level has mighty power. This is where we hold heaven to ransom. This is because the Bible says; "remind me of my promises and see if I will not fulfill them".

*When giving thanks: you may go like this; Psalm 65: 1 "Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed".
Psalm 92:3 "Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound."
How mighty are your works, oh Lord? You are the excellency of Israel. In Rev 2: 8, you are the first and the last. In verse 12, You have the two-edged sword. Rev 3:7, the one who is holy and true, you have the key of David, the door you open, no man can shut..."

Look, you are not just praising God here, you are reminding Him who he says He is in His words. It is called praying the scripture.

*When praying for healing: you may go like this: He carries our infirmities to the cross and made an open disgrace of them. And on the cross, he said, it is finished. Therefore, Diabetes, you are finished. Typhoid, cancer, migraine headache, Arthritis, HIV, what are you still doing in this body? You are finished on the cross. My Jesus finished.

My body is the temple of the Most high God where the Holy Spirit dwells. You are aliens in this body. Now, get out! in the Mighty name of Jesus!

The two illustrations I gave are examples of praying the scripture or praying the word of God.

The Power of Prayer - Sermon


  • Prayer of Worship
This level of prayer is the height of all levels. However, we tender to neglect it or forget it. Many people neglect praise and worship in their prayer because they do not know that the power of praise is in the praise.

I was reading Daniel 10: 11-14, where he was making supplication unto God. God sent an angel to come down and take the prayer of Daniel but the Angel was stopped. The Prince of Persia intercepted the Angel in the Sky and held him for 7 days.

Do you know what that means? Daniel was praying the same prayer point for seven days and waiting for the answers but none came. But the truth is that answers to his prayer came. They were in the hands of an Angel who couldn't withstand the Prince of Persia alone until Angel Michael came to help him.

God can send the Angel to come and receive petitions on His behalf but He does not send any to receive His praises. What if Daniel had opened the box of Music like David and praised the Mighty God? What if God had moved by Himself to Babylon? Would the Prince of Persia dare stand before the king of glory?

Our praises move God from His throne. When he comes down to inhabit His praises, the situation changes instantly. Prayer of praises gives results.

The way you pray and how you pray are the major determinant of the results of your prayer. I shall tell here the 5 categories of prayers that lack power. Let's look carefully and see if we belong in the nay of the category and make amend now it is still early.

7 Powers of Prayer

1. Prayer Changes status quo:

We see this where we read in Acts 12: 1- 10. Peter wasn't the first person King Herod had held. John the Baptist was held. Another person was held and executed and the church was just looking and just talking in their bedrooms just as we do today.

But when it was Peter's turn, it seemed they were woken from their slumber. They didn't just pray and stop; they were consistent. "Peter, therefore, was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him."

There was a Bible translation that says; "the church continues in prayer". Prayer changes the situation. Until men and women learn to pray. The Israelites stayed in the land of Egypt for 40 years. Their status quo was the same until they began to wail unto God to save them. God heard their prayer and brought them out from the land of slavery.

Another example is Jabez's story in 1 Chron 4: 9-10. He prayed for name and status change when he was no longer comfortable with them. God answered and changed the status quo for Jabez.

2. Prayer moves God to speak over our situation

We remember the story of Hannah in 1Sam 1: 20. Hannah was going to the Shiloh with her husband, Elkanah every year and going home with her issue of barrenness. Until she went into the Temple to pray; God spoke through Eli, the Priest.

3. Prayer Breaks the Chains: 

Some People are tied hands and feet, spiritually. The fervent prayer by the Church moved God to break the chains on the hands and legs of Peter. We saw this from where we read in the passage.

We have been given the mandate to lose and bind. The Bible says that whatever we lose on the earth is loosed in heaven. Prayer breaks the chain of barrenness. It breaks every yoke of spell and charms.

4. Prayer Modifies our Lifestyle:

When we live a life of prayer, as in when we pray always, it will reflect in our characters and how we live with others. Prayer shapes our lifestyle. It modifies the way we think, talk, and dress. 

The tongue of prayer does not carry filthy words. It is seasoned with grace and love. Prayer helps a child of God to avoid living a sinful life. This is because we are always appearing before the throne of God. So, like Adam in the garden of Edem, we are conscious of our appearances.

The Power of Prayer - Sermon


5. Prayer makes us Indrustible and Inaccessible: 

I want to share a testimony of a Missionary and his encounter with an occultic rich man who always helped him and his family. The Missionary has 6 growing-up children. He had difficulty feeding them and sending them to school.

The occultic man on his side had grown-up children who are now living abroad. So, one of the Missionary sons came to stay in the house of the rich man. He was helping to feed and train them. One year later, he asked the Missionary to let his other 2 children join their brother in his house so he can equally take care of their bills.

So, that is how the Missionary's 3 children came to live in the house of the occultic rich man. Years later, the rich man felt sick. He was sick and the hospital could not save his life. When the Pastor learned about it, he came to pray with him and at least ask him to give his life to Jesus but he would not let him see him.

The Pastor was worried and forced his way into the ward where he was laid on the sickbed, motionlessly. He saw the rich man in a messy state. He was hallucinating and making some confessions to nobody.

“Bless you Chief” the Pastor whispered to him when he walked in.

“Get out!” the rich man screamed to the Pastor. “You are a selfish man. After all, I have done for your family. Just to make a sacrifice with one child of yours, you refused”.

“Chief, I am not getting you. But I sent 3 of my children to live with you and work for you at home?” The Pastor said in bewilderment.

And the Chief died!

Did you get anything from their discussions? The Chief wanted to use his children for ritual purposes but they were already fenced with prayer. They were the children of the Lion and lions are not used for sacrifices.

That is what prayer does. It makes us inaccessible by the kingdom of darkness and indestructible. Prayer can be used to secure our children’s destiny and Star and hide them from Herod (he will never see them).

6. Prayer activates the Lion nature of God in us:

Our God is the Lion tribe of Judah. We are created in His image. Therefore, we are sons and daughters of a Lion. We and our children are lions and lionesses. When we pray we activate this nature of God to work in our lives.

A lion does not die a death of a chicken or a sheep. You heard the story of the evil rich Chief above. He was using other children for sacrifices but he couldn't use the Missionary's children because they bear the mark of redemption.

The Power of Prayer - Sermon


7. Prayer Wears us the garment of Fire:

Anytime I read the verse in the Bible where Paul was bitten by a snake, shudder. It was even a type of dangerous snake with venom that kills within 24 hours "echi eteka in Igbo language". meaning tomorrow is far. It means that whoever the snake is bitten will not see tomorrow.

No wonder the people around were afraid for the life of Paul. They knew what would happen to him the next moment, he would die.
But I see a man who has built a wall of fire with prayer. The fire of prayer in his bloodstream could not allow the venom to survive.

That is how we are in the spiritual realm when we pray. Even the enemy sends deadly arrows, they won't penetrate for we are wearing the garment of fire;.

The Power of Prayer - Sermon

In conclusion, prayer is like a gun in the hands of every child of God. But some are not making use of theirs. Those who know what they carry are terrors in the kingdom of darkness. The sound of their guns scares the enemy to their bone marrow.

There is Power in Prayer. I am a witness. The day a child of God stops praying, he or she stops living. If you don't pray in advance, you will pray in arrear. Show me a man and a woman that always kneel before God in prayer, I will show you a man that lives a lifestyle of a miracle.

SERMON WRITTEN BY;
Njide Mkparu


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