Prayer Meetings and Prayers for Individuals

“Still staying in the Book of Acts, in the twelfth chapter you find the prayer-meeting was a means of individual deliverance. You know the story well. Peter was in prison, and Herod promised himself the great pleasure of putting him to death. “The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. But the church was earnestly praying to God for him” [Acts 12:4-5]. The walls of the prison were very thick, but prayer was made without ceasing. The soldiers were very watchful; there were sixteen of them—four squads of four soldiers each—appointed to watch him in shifts — four at a time, and he was chained by both hands to two of them. Yet prayer was made without ceasing by the Church for him, and prayer laughs at stone walls, and handcuffs and iron bars, and gates of brass. And so in the middle of the night an angel struck Peter on the side waking him up, and told him to quickly get up and the chains fell off of his wrists. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Every locked door opened by itself as he advanced, and Peter found himself in the street, and wondered whether he was awake, or whether he was seeing a vision. And when he got to the house where many people had gathered and were praying, they were all equally surprised, and thought it must be Peter’s spirit, and that it could never be Peter himself. Yet there he was, in his flesh and blood, released from his prison in answer to their prayers.

And so in the prayer-meeting of the Church, God’s people may plead for individuals. It may not be God’s will, there may be no necessity for it, that every one of God’s people would be brought out of prison, or raised up from sickness, or saved from their needs; but if it was the Master’s will, and is the right thing, Then God will grant it. Therefore when we come together we may unite in exacting and personal supplications. I don’t doubt that many a life has been spared in answer to united prayer, that many a soul that has been, as it were, spirit-burdened has obtained gracious liberty through the prayers of the brothers and sisters. It is good if we often raise up our prayers for one another, remembering those who are in prison for their faith in Christ, as if we are tied with them. Observe here, then, another valuable use of the Christian prayer-meeting, that it is the means of individual deliverance.”

– C.H. Spurgeon, from the sermon “Prayer-Meetings”

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About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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