Something stood out to me as I read today’s reading (Acts 12). Actually it did not just stand out to me it screamed out to me and made me ask the question … have I ever been a part of a church that does this?
Peter has been sitting in jail. James the brother of John, so James the Apostle, has been arrested and killed by Herod. Now the page has turned to Peter. He has been sitting in jail. An angel comes and rescues Peter, releasing his chains, opening the cell doors and providing a way out of prison. Peter then shows up at John–Mark’s house where a group has gathered to pray for Peter.
This is where God’s Word started screaming (I was a little shocked when it did this, I wanted to yell back, and weirdly it kind of sounded like Ty Pennington with his bullhorn ). This is when I asked if I have ever been a part of a church that does this. You see back in Acts 2:42 we get a basic look at what the early church did together … “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” As I look at many churches I see them doing each of these things on some level. But when I read Acts 12:12 I see what 2:42 meant about prayer.
They did not just meet once a week and say a couple of prayers during their Sunday morning service. They did not just start their Sunday School with a time of prayer request and praises followed by a short prayer recapping all of that. They did not just start their Small Group with a short time of prayer. They prayed. They allowed the spirit to lead and they poured their heart out. The reason they were at the house of John-Marks mother was to prayer for the safety of Peter. They met for that one and only one reason.
Do we meet to pray? Do you come together for just that one purpose? I wander how we would all feel if we just took one Sunday morning and all we did was pray? I am not talking about sharing prayer request and praises, but I am talking about getting on our hands and knees and praying. Or what if we had someone who suddenly had tragedy strike in their family and a group of people got together in someone’s home and prayed into the wee hours of the morning? I wander how our church would look if we did that. Unfortunately this is a foreign concept to many.
Image borrow from site girlgonehealthy.com