The Power of Prayer
through the Word of God (25)
The Power in United Prayer:
Paul and Silas
The account of Paul and Silas in Acts chapter 16 which we’ve been looking at is an illustration of the power in united prayer.
Remember, Paul and Silas had been beaten and thrust into the inner prison with their feet put in stocks, all for preaching the gospel. but instead of griping and complaining about their difficult circumstances, Paul and Silas lifted their voices together in united prayer and praise to God.
And at midnight PAUL AND SILAS prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Would you be praying and praising God out loud if you had been beaten and you were in jail with your feet in stocks and it stocks and it looked like your life might be over? Paul and Silas did. And notice as Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises to God in one accord, something happened. As both Paul and Silas lifted their voices to God in united prayer and praise, God wrought a mighty deliverance.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE PRISON WERE SHAKEN: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Isn’t it interesting that the Bible doesn’t record that the earthquake shook anything else but that prison? that is, there is no report in the Bible about any other house or building in that town being shaken. I wouldn’t be surprised if that earthquake only shook that jail where two believers were praying and praising God in one accord.
But, bless God, that jail was shaken and every door in that jail was opened! The bible says the very foundations of the prison were shaken. The stocks came off Paul and Silas’ feet and Paul and Silas were loosed from their bonds. This is what united prayer will do!
when the prisoners were loosed, the jailer was going to kill himself because he was responsible for guarding them, and he thought they had escaped. But Paul “…cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here” (Acts 16:28).
The jailer knew he had witnessed the supernatural that night and that Paul and Silas were no ordinary men, serving an ordinary God. The Bible says the jailer came trembling to Paul and Silas, falling down before them and asking what he could do to be saved (Acts 16:29-33). And as a result of the power of God that was wrought by the united prayer of Paul and Silas that night, the jailer and his entire family were saved and baptised in water.
A lot of folks today are just sitting around doing nothing, waiting for God to do something for them.
They say, “If God sees fit, He will move on my behalf.”
But if that is true, then why didn’t Paul and Silas just suffer in silence and not pray and sing praises to God? Why didn’t they just wait and see if God would see fit to for something in their lives?
If that is true why didn’t Paul and Silas just say, “Let’s just leave everything to the Lord”?
No, they prayed in one accord and sang praises to God! And notice their situation did not change until they prayed and praised in one accord. As a result, God heard them and they were delivered!
We need that kind of praying today too. How desperately we need that kind of praying! And when things begin to be shaken, some people are going to be shaken too.
you see, the shaking will cause some people to come into the church. Folks who don’t want to change won’t stay around long if things are being shaken, because some things believers should get rid of, such as sin, will be shaken too!
And in some churches there are even some people who need to be shaken, because they will never commit themselves to a local body and to walk uprightly. Those people will go when the shaking begins, but others will come into the church and stay.
The Power in United Prayer:
The Early Church
In Acts chapter 4, we read an account of a company of believers in the early church who lifted their voices to God in united prayer.
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
And when they heard that, THEY LIFTED UP THEIR VOICE TO GOD WITH ONE ACCORD, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
And WHEN THEY HAD PRAYED, THE PLACE WAS SHAKEN where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
This incident occurred after God had used Peter and John in the healing of the crippled man at the Gate called Beautiful. As Peter and John entered into the temple through the Gate called Beautiful, they met a man sitting at the gate who sat there daily to beg alms (Acts 3:1-3). Peter said to the man, “…Look on us” (v.4). The man looked at them, expecting to receive something from them.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
And he leaping up-stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
When the crippled man was healed, the bible says Peter and John were taken into question by the authorities. They were threatened by the priests and the Sadducees and were commanded not to preach and teach any more in the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:18). Then we read in verse 23 how Peter and John went to their own company to report what had happened.
It’s good to be with your own company when you’re in trouble. It’s good to be with those of like-precious faith who know how to pray.
I have thought many times that if this company of believers had been like some folks in churches nowadays, they would have suggested that they nominate a committee to go and talk to these leaders to make some kind of a deal whereby everyone could get along together.
These leaders were religious people – they just didn’t accept Jesus as being the Messiah. They believed in the same God, and they believed in prayer. They believed in going to church or to the temple to meet.
But if this group of believers who were of Peter and John’s company were like some folks today, they would have wanted to work out some kind of a deal to compromise with these religious leaders who opposed them.
But it doesn’t say those believers did that. In acts 4:29 it says that this company of believers prayed for boldness.
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that WITH ALL BOLDNESS THY MAY SPEAK THY WORD.
These believers did not ask the lord to remove the persecution or to strike down their enemies. They didn’t pray, “Lord, make our way easy.” Instead, they prayed one very specific prayer: “In the midst of this persecution , give us boldness to speak thy Word!”(v.29).
And in verse 31 we see that the Lord answered these believers’ prayers. As a result of their united prayer, a building was shaken by the power of God!
And WHEN they had prayed, THE PLACE WAS SHAKEN where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
This passage of Scripture gives us an instance of how the power of God is made available when believers pray together corporately. The Bible says when this company of believers prayed, “the place was shaken”
(Acts 4”31). Do you know of many groups of people praying and shaking anything nowadays for God’s glory?
As a result of the prayers of these believers in Acts 4;31, the entire building was shaken! There is something about the power of united prayer that brings the power of God on the scene to meet every need. These Christians in the Book of Acts weren’t praying just to hear themselves pray. They were praying about the problem they were facing at the moment, and all of them were praying out loud all at once.
The Bible says that when these believers lifted their voices and joined together in united prayer, “…THE PLACE WAS SHAKEN where they were assembled together
…” (v.31). The same thing happened in Acts 4:31 as a result of the united prayer of these believers that happened to Paul and Silas in Acts 16 when they prayed and praise God together in jail.
In Acts 4:31 it says the place was shaken where the believers were all assembled together. And in acts16 it says that the foundations of the prison were shaken and every door was opened in that old jail (v 26). It was a strange thing, though, that the buildings weren’t shaken until the believers prayed.
I believe that Christians ought to be shaking things today for God too! If believers today would get together and pray “with one accord.” They would shake the world for Jesus. There is supernatural power in united prayer!
Ushering in the Glory of God Through United Prayer
Believers can usher in the glory of god as they join together in united prayer and praise. In the Old Testament times it says that the glory of the Lord filled the temple where people were gathered to pray.
2 CHRONICLES 5:6,7,11-14
Also king Solomon, and ALL THE CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.
And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims…
And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:
Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white lined, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets;)
It came even to pass, AS THE TRUMPETERS AND SINGERS WERE AS ONE, TO MAKE ONE SOUND TO BE HEARD IN PRAISING AND THANKING THE LORD; and WHEN THEY LIFTED UP THEIR VOICE with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;
So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD HAD FILLED THE HOUSE OF GOD.
2 CHRONICLES 7:1-3
Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE HOUSE.
And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because THE GLORY OF THE LORD HAD FILLED THE LORD’S HOUSE.
And when ALL THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, THEY BOWED THEMSELVES with their faces t the ground upon the pavement, and WORSHIPPED, and PRAISED THE LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
Did you ever stop to think about when the glory of the Lord filled the temple? It was when all the people were praying and singing praises to God out loud in one accord. The glory cloud of the Lord filled the temple so that the priests were not even able to stand and minister. A white cloud came in and filled the temple. That’s what united prayer can do!
I have seen instances when people have prayed until the whole building was going to shake. I have seen some of the most amazing things happen in the realm of the Spirit when people lifted their voices to God in prayer in one accord – in united prayer.
Sometimes it seemed that the power of God would come in waves. In some services every single unsaved and backslidden person in the building responded to be saved. The Pastor didn’t have to beg or plead. They would come to the altar and pray and every one of them would be gloriously saved.
I remember one service in which everyone present who was sick was healed. I’ve attended a number of services in which every believer there received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We don’t see that much today. But I have felt the Spirit of God pass through services just like a strong wind.
We need more united praying. We need vocal praying, or praying out loud in one accord, in the church too. Let us avail ourselves of the power that is in united prayer, so that we do not miss out on any good thing the Lord has made available for us today. Let’s pray the kind of united prayer that will shake things for the Kingdom of God!
Continue to grow in your fellowship with the Heavenly Father. You can also learn to allow the Word of God to abide in you so you can pray according to God’s will, and your prayers will be answered. Then Jesus’ words in (John 16:24) will be fulfilled in your life: Your Joy will become full!
Best Greetings to all of you, brothers in Christ, may God bless you much as you continue to walk, the walk of faith in Jesus' Name. Praise and Glory be to God.
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