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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Peter Tan-Chi » Peter Tan Chi - Pray Without Ceasing

Peter Tan Chi - Pray Without Ceasing

Peter Tan Chi - Pray Without Ceasing
TOPICS: Truth Matters

Today our topic is: Ceaseless Prayer. Please tell me: Ceaseless Prayer. How is your prayer life? Someone shared with me a few years ago that prayer is like a thermometer and a thermostat. A thermometer measures room temperature. Am I right? Your prayer life measures and reveals your spiritual temperature, how spiritual you are. If your prayer life is vibrant, that means you are spiritually healthy. If your prayer life is not vibrant, that means you are not spiritually healthy. So that's a thermometer. How is your prayer life? The good news is that your prayer life is also a thermostat. Thermostat regulates room temperature.

If you are spiritually slacking off and not doing well, my advice is this: pray. Because your prayer life will regulate your spiritual condition, don't lose heart. If you are feeling spiritually low, the remedy I am going to give you is fasting and prayer. Of all the spiritual disciplines, listen to me, of all the spiritual disciplines, prayer is the most basic. What do I mean? For example, I have several spiritual disciplines that I encourage everyone to practice. Reading the Bible, this is a spiritual discipline, I do this, participating in small groups, I do this, memorizing scriptures, I do this, attending worship services, I do this. But more important than the above, the most critical thing is your prayer life. I pray that you and I can become men and women who pray regularly.

What's today's topic? Pray without ceasing. Say it with me: Pray without ceasing. This verse is found in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 17, it's a very short verse, 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 17, pray without ceasing. This is a command, this is not a suggestion. This command is: pray without ceasing, pray without ceasing. The word prayer here is already an imperative. It is a command, present tense, pray without ceasing. And then the Bible says Emphasis on not stopping. In the Greek Bible, many words mean prayer. For example, you can use the word petition, and you can use the word request, which are different words for prayer. But in this particular passage, God moved the author to use the word proseuchomai.

What does that mean? pros is in the front, which is made up of two phrases, so the meaning of coming to God means worship, it means dedication, and it means worship. So prayer is fundamentally about worship. You Offer something to God and then add to your prayer request. For most people today, praying means making various requests. But I want to tell you that praying is not just making requests. It is coming before God and wanting to see His face. You offer yourself to God. your faithfulness, your worship, so the Bible says… What is the topic of today's sermon? Pray unceasingly, this is a way of life, pray unceasingly, this wonderful command is sandwiched between two verses, the first verse is: Rejoice always, this is verse 16, this is a command. Joy is one thing, for example, you get a promotion, you win a big award, whatever the reason is. The real challenge is: rejoice always.

How can you always be happy? You have to pray often. You see, joy and prayer are connected, because the truth is, sometimes things are bad, sometimes they are out of your control, and what do you do? If you want to pray, what will you do? You're going to pray, and then the prayer is sandwiched between another verse called... Let's read it together, in all things... notice, in all things... what should we do? Thank you. You know, my question is this, some things are easy to give thanks for, some things are extremely difficult to give thanks for, the Bible says, all things. Let's read it again: everything. What should you do? Thank you. Why? This is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do you want to know God's will for you today? Very simple, joy! Keep praying and giving thanks, so when you pray, you are rejoicing, and when you pray, you give thanks. easy to say, hard to do. How many of you are truly grateful people? It is your nature to always give thanks.

Please raise your hand. How many of you are ungrateful by nature? You like to complain, don't raise your hand, this is embarrassing, you are more negative. I find this is easier said than done. On the way here, I was asking the Lord. You won't believe it. I just arrived yesterday morning from Italy. I was praying: Lord, please provide some good examples for my sermon information today, because I Let's talk about this theme: pray without ceasing, give thanks in everything. Do you believe it? Taking off from Milan, I landed in Mascot, Oman, and my next flight was delayed. You and I know how painful it is when your next flight is delayed, and I was hoping it would only be two hours, but it turns out to be more than three hours, not four hours, not five hours, not six hours, not seven. hours, delayed by eight hours.

My wife reminds me: Give thanks in everything. I was almost ready to scold her. Why are you preaching to me at this time? But this is true, so I said: Lord, I thank you! for this delay. It's really hard. Do you understand what I'm saying? Sometimes it's hard to give thanks because the situation is not good. I like to be angry. I am led to the transfer station, so I smile. I hate going to the transfer station, because I have already got the boarding pass, but I have to smile and give thanks in everything. So I smiled and said to the girl: What happened? Do you know what they did? Because after giving thanks, something inside you is released. You are trusting God. My plan was very simple, I arrived on Friday evening. I would take a break and then go over my sermon information with my staff and go through the Powerpoint slides. It was the perfect plan. But I'm stuck in Oman. But the Lord did something even better.

Do you know what is more beautiful? Do you want to know what happens to me? They put me in a five-star hotel, and you know, I can go to the gym, and wow, I can get ready, and you see, because the rooms are so nice, I get a really good rest, and I can swim, and wow! Now you ask me, how do you swim? Because I only have my bag, it's a secret, I won't tell you how it's done. But I swam, OK. And the food is pretty good. Therefore, give thanks in everything. Is it easy? No, it's not easy. Do you want to applaud? Drum, give thanks in everything. But I'm telling you, it's not easy. Let's look at what the Bible says about prayer. Let's read: Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. do you remember?

There are different words for prayer, one is prayer, which is translated as prayer, another is supplication, which is when you ask, which for most of us is always asking, and another way of saying: to give you what you ask for... There are different words for prayer, but what I want to tell you is to pray with reverence, commitment, and worship. How many of you have questions right now? Please raise your hand! Are you telling me we have the same problem? You have a problem. How many of you are worried about your problems? Please raise your hand. Haha, you know that when you worry, you are sinning. Do you know this? This is a sin. Because the Bible commands us not to be anxious about anything. Jesus commands us: Don't worry. Remember what Jesus said?

Do not worry about what you will eat or what you will drink, for your heavenly Father knows this. Be anxious for nothing. Tell your neighbor: Be anxious for nothing. What's the secret? Continue reading the following verses, as long as everything... Notice the contrast here, be anxious about nothing, everything... including your problems, including your secret desires, everything, no matter how big or small, what must you do? Leave it to the Lord, through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving. My friend, that is the antidote to worry. Pray with gratitude. If cancer appeared in your body, would you pray sincerely? If someone you loved had cancer, or someone passed away, would it be extremely difficult for you to honestly say, Lord, I don't know why, but I thank you.

I want to share with you the secret of praying without ceasing. When you pray without ceasing with gratitude, things will happen. Do you know what will happen? Let's read this scripture. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. In other words, God promises that if you pray for His peace with gratitude, the peace of God, not the peace of this world, the peace of God. I had a friend tell my son that his best friend was on vacation in Sri Lanka, and in Sri Lanka, remember the bombing? Three of his children died on the spot, and this man was a billionaire. I realize that in life you never know what's going to happen to you. He was having breakfast with his children, and his wife went up early to bring the other child down. As his wife went up, he left these three. The kid goes to the front desk to ask something, and when he comes back, boom! Three of his children died on the spot.

How do you comfort someone like that? My friend is the pastor of one of the largest churches in Sri Lanka. One of their branches was bombed. If you watched this interview on TV, you'll notice something. There was a group of Christians being interviewed, members of his church, and you know what they said? We love those who bomb us, and for Christians to say we still love those who bomb us, my friends, that's my lesson. Things that happen to you are beyond your control. Think about this. Let me repeat, things that happen to you are beyond your control. The only thing that is within your control is how you respond. Today I am going to tell you something that you will remember for the rest of your life. You have to pray. No matter what happens to you, you must learn to pray. Leave it to the Lord, because the only thing you can control is your reaction. You leave it to God, because God is the ultimate controller.

Now let me ask you a question, does God always, always answer prayer? Yes or no? louder please! Let me ask you again, does God answer prayer? Does He always respond? Look, you're shaking your head. I don't know how you're shaking your head both ways. Let me tell you the answer. Do you want a biblical answer? This is why theology is important. This is why at CCF we emphasize reading the Bible, we emphasize preaching from the Bible, and we want you to read the Bible. According to the Bible, God not only hears, He answers all prayers. What do I mean? When you pray about something, what are the possible answers? Yes, no, wait, there is another one that people don't talk about, God will always answer your prayers, yes, no, wait, or please listen, there is a better one, there is a better one, this is how God responds of our prayers.

There was once a mother who prayed for her son, hoping that her son would not run away from home, because the mother noticed that her son was moving away from the Lord, but God did not answer the mother's prayer, and the son left home. They are from Africa. The son went to Italy. became corrupted, but guess what happened? A few years later, the son came back. When the son came back, he was a changed man. He became a theologian, a pastor. If I mention his name to you, you will know him. Do you know what he said? God did not answer my mother's prayers, but God answered my mother's hopes. Because this mother's wish was for him to truly love and serve the Lord devoutly, and this was exactly what happened to him after he left home.

Who is this person? Augustine. Augustine was from Africa. He became a great theologian because God didn't answer his mother's prayers and let him stay home. But God responded to his mother's wishes, and everything the mother wished for her son came true. Isn't God amazing? OK, single people, wave to me, single people! Say: Hi! What do you want from your spouse? Don't worry, I tell you, don't worry, what will God do in God's time? In God's time, OK? I want you to look at Acts 12, and let's see how important it is to learn to pray, and I want you to remember the three P's about prayer. The first P: Problems, tell me, the three Ps, why do you need to learn to pray unceasingly? Problems, God allows problems to happen, and you need God's power, God's help to overcome problems, right?

Questions will bring you to your knees. The next P, perspective, prayer will adjust your perspective on the problem. You don't understand why, why did you allow this person to die? You will learn that prayer can change your perspective on problems. Finally, there is Power, ability. You cannot separate power from prayer. The two are always connected in the Bible. Do you want God to give you power? You have to pray. There are no shortcuts. So keep praying. Problems are inevitable. You will encounter problems. What else? The perspective on the problem, that's what you need to change, why did God allow this to happen? You need God's help, so you pray. Finally you need competence.

Now let's get to the issues. Can I tell you that I want to thank God for so many of you who pray for me? Do you believe it? When I was in Milan, I was preaching to the Italians, and as I was about to preach, the whole screen, the projector, went wrong. For those of you who often give lectures abroad, my words were displayed in English and Italian, Without the screen, without the slides, I would be dead. I tell you, I was on edge, but what does the Bible say? What do you have to do in everything? prayer. So I spoke to the Italian technicians in English, and someone translated, let's pray, I sent a message to CCF, pray, pray, pray, do you believe it? When I stood on the podium, boom! That thing works! Isn't God amazing? Let me show you, for example, my wife was talking, and I have a screen here, and these guys are Italians, and the screen worked at first, and then it stopped working, and I stopped, and I said: Pray, everybody. ! Understand? prayer! You know, when we pray, boom! The screen is good again! That's why you can see it, OK? The screen works great again!

Isn't God amazing? Do you know why? Sometimes He allows problems to arise to bring you to your knees. I said: Lord! I thank you! Because you are true, we prayed. How is your prayer life? Do you need to improve? Don't worry, you start practicing, turn to your neighbor, tell your neighbor, say: pray without ceasing. Again, look at your neighbor and tell your neighbor: Pray without ceasing. You will encounter problems, and you need to change your perspective on the problem. You need ability. let us start. Acts 12, at that time, King Herod set out to harm several people in the church. Who is this Herod? There are several different Herods in the Bible. Just take four of the more famous ones as examples.

The first Herod was Herod the Great. He was the Herod who rebuilt the temple. He was the one who slaughtered the babies when Jesus was born. He was Herod the Great. One of his sons was named Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas killed John the Baptist, remember? That was Herod Antipas. He was also the one who interrogated Jesus. There was another Herod, Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great. Herod Agrippa is the main character in Acts 12. It was he who killed James and it was he who put Peter in prison. There's another Herod, and you'll meet him in the last part of Acts. That's another Herod. But you don't want to be called Herod. You know why? Herod was bad news. But the truth is, there are a lot of Herods in our lives, right? This is why you need to pray often. How many of you know someone named Herod? Please raise your hand. Well, I feel sorry for you. You know someone named Herod.

Please don't name your children Herod. Herod. Do you know why? Because Herod was bad news. This guy was so insecure, Herod was so insecure that he killed his own son. He killed one of his sons. The Herods were insecure people, that's why they were mean, they were bad. Please see what the Bible says. King Herod harmed several people in the church. One of them was James. Who was this Jacob? It was John's brother who was put to death. You have to understand that in church history, something dramatic happened, and Herod decided to go after these leaders. In the past, it was the priests and religious people who were against the Christians, but this time, this crazy guy decided to persecute the Christians and do things that were detrimental to the Christian leaders.

Now I want you to imagine right now that you are Jacob and you pray and say, Lord, save me! Lord, save me! Or, you are Jacob's brother, or you are Jacob's parents, or you are Jacob's sister, and you pray for Jacob, but God does not answer your prayers, what will you do? Will you give up your faith in God? Will you stop praying? I know there are many Christians, so-called Christians, who have left the church when their prayers have not been answered. They have abandoned God. Here's the problem: They don't understand biblical theology.

You see, many of you, we want God to be our servant, you don't understand theology. Let me encourage you. When you are disappointed, when your prayers are not answered, what should you do? Pray without ceasing. You have to keep praying. Thank the Lord by faith. Turn to your neighbor and tell your neighbor: Pray without ceasing. I tell you, keep praying—even when you are disappointed. Who is Jacob? Can I tell you who Jacob is? James was one of several special disciples of Jesus. The Bible tells us, Mark 5:37 So he took Peter, James, and James' brother John with him, and allowed no one else to follow him. You see, Peter, James, and John were in Jesus' inner circle, so don't tell me that Jesus didn't love James. Jesus gave special attention to James, Peter, and John. He had 12 disciples, and among these 12, He specially cultivated three of them, Peter, James, and John.

What does the Bible tell us about how special they are? Mark 9:2 After six days, Jesus took three men, Peter, James, and John, and went up a high mountain privately. And he was transfigured before them. Jesus paid special attention to James, John, and Peter. James was the first of the apostles to be martyred, he died. John was the last of the apostles to be martyred; John was also martyred. I don't believe he died of old age. Scholars tell us that he died under boiling water or boiling oil. That was John. Peter was martyred, he was crucified upside down, they were all martyred. At that time, Jacob was the first to be killed. From a human perspective, you would say, Lord, why would You take Jacob away at the height of his ministry? His ministry was fruitful.

My friend, when you pray, your perspective may change, so let's see what happens. Acts 12:3 When he saw that the Jews liked this, he went to arrest Peter. It was the day of unleavening. That was during Passover, much like Jesus, who was arrested during Passover and then He was crucified on Passover. The Bible tells us that Herod took Peter and put him in prison; they put Peter in prison. He was placed under the guard of four squads of soldiers, each with four men, with the intention of taking him out after the Passover and dealing with him in front of the people. In other words, execute him. Now listen to me, Herod sent four squads of soldiers. What does this mean? This is the highest level of security, ensuring Peter cannot escape.

In Acts 5, they were thrown into prison, remember? God rescued James, John and other people, so Herod said, "It will definitely not work this time. You will not be able to get out". There are four soldiers in each shift, one is tied to your left hand, the other is tied to your right hand, and there are two guards. They take turns every three hours, so the Romans have the highest level of guard system. If you Divide each day into 12 hours + 12 hours, 4 shifts, 3 hours per shift. During each shift, there is one guard on the left, one guard on the right, and two guards. In other words, Peter was finished and there was no way he could escape. Do we understand? Now if you were Peter, what would you do? Honestly, what would you do if you were Peter? You know you're next to be executed, well, let's take a look.

So Peter was imprisoned, but the church prayed fervently to God for him. In other words, what's amazing is the whole church...I want you to imagine right now, how many people are they? do you remember? In the first part of Acts, three thousand are saved, and in the next chapter, five thousand are saved, and that's just men, and then a few chapters later, you read, a lot of disciples came to Christ, and many of them became made disciples, so now there are thousands of them, remember? All these people are praying, at home, in the temple, in small groups, so imagine now, I'm thinking, if CCF keeps up the habit of praying, if we pray regularly, the Bible says, the church is eager for him Pray to God.

You know, earnestly, a lot of times our prayers are not fervent. You're not praying from your heart. You're praying with your head. That kind of prayer doesn't work. You need to pray with your heart earnestly. I see this, I believe it was last year or two years ago, and I was in Malaysia, and it was during the election, and Malaysians were absolutely disgusted with their government, because the party that was in power had been in power for over 60 years, and it was very corrupt, and if you think back to the past Several prime ministers, millions of dollars missing, how do you explain this? And then there was jewelry found in his house, millions of dollars, gold bars, all that kind of stuff, but the church came together and they fasted and prayed, and this Christian community fasted and prayed.

I was there that election week and they were praying. Do you believe that? What happened in Malaysia? The unbelievable thing happened, the opposition party, led by an old man named Mahathir, who is over 80 years old, he won, and today Malaysia has a very good future. Why? Christians, just pray, okay? You must pray without ceasing, for prayer releases the power of God. So they were praying for Peter, and the Bible tells us, what was Peter doing the night before Herod was going to rapture him? Peter slept between two soldiers, chained with two iron chains, and a guard was watching outside the door. Now listen to me, Peter knew he was going to be released the next day, what was he doing? sleep.

Now listen to me, if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, would you be able to sleep? Really, tell me honestly, why is he sleeping? You have to understand that when you pray regularly, God will change your perspective of thinking. Peter was filled with peace. Do you know why? See what he wrote? Regarding suffering, this is what Peter wrote: Do you want to know what they think about life and death? Let's look at it, Peter writes in 1 Peter, read it together: Therefore you have great joy; mark, there is great joy, but now for a little while you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that you Once your faith is tested, it is more precious than gold that is perishable even though it is tested by fire. It will receive praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears. For the apostle Peter, it was OK to suffer and you could have great joy. Why? This is a matter of perspective of thinking. For, if necessary, and only if necessary, God does not allow us to suffer unnecessarily. But if necessary, for what purpose do you now grieve for a little while under various trials, that your faith may be tested?

Friends, how do you tell the difference between a true Christian and a fake one? How do you tell true followers of Jesus from false followers? It's hard because we all look the same. It's only when you're tested that's why some believers don't commit themselves to a church. These so-called believers, when they have problems, they give up on God. They give up. Believe in Jesus. Friends, the Bible says that trials will prove your faith. Why is this so important? Do you know why this is important? Please pay attention to what the Bible says, so that your faith may be tested to see whether it is true or false. It is more precious than gold. You are more precious than gold. So what will happen when Jesus returns one day? You may receive praise, glory, and honor. In other words, the problem didn't come out of nowhere, and Peter understood that.

Now you want to know what we think about life and death? Do you want to know? Because most of us don't like death, but death is inevitable, I guarantee you, sooner or later, you will die. Can you tell the person next to you that you will always die? The only question now is, what does God think about death? Please note, there are two views. First, if you belong to God, Psalm 116:15 The death of his saints is of great value in the sight of the Lord. When God's people die, they are extremely precious to God. What a loss to us, how precious to God. Another verse, Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous perish, and no one takes heed of them; the pious are taken away, and no one remembers them. Why do you want to take this person away? He is such a good person, boom!

The Bible says: This righteous man is taken away to avoid future trouble. This is God's view. 2 And they had peace... To understand this even further, the Book of Revelation also talks about death, Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying (read everyone), "You shall write: From now on, Blessed are those who die in the Lord"! Blessed are those who qualify to die in the Lord! Only applies to Christians, why? The Bible says, "Yes, they rested from their labor," says the Holy Spirit, "and the results of their work followed them".

My friends, there are two kinds of people here, those who know God, and those who serve God, the Bible Say, Blessed are they! An example is the apostle Paul, when he was about to die, look what he said, Philippians chapter 1, please read: For to me living is Christ, and to dying is gain. What does this mean? 22 But if I live in the flesh, and if the fruits of my labor are fulfilled, I do not know what to choose. Paul is saying, to me, the main driving force in his life, the purpose of his life, to me, to live is Christ, and therefore to die is gain. I don't know about you, but for some of you, for me, living is making money, and if your answer is money, dying is losing money. Some of you, for me, life is for career, for me, life is for owning property, for me, what is life for? No matter what the answer is, if that's not Jesus, you can't say there's any gain in dying. Your answer will be, if I live for money, I will die at a loss.

If I live for popularity, I will lose money if I die. If I live for fame, wealth, and assets, then I will lose money if I die. Ladies and gentlemen, what are you living for? Look, what are all people living for? I want to ask you, what are you living for? Peter, he lived for Jesus, James, he lived for Jesus, Paul, he lived for Jesus, that's why he could honestly say, to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. But I live in the flesh, which means fruitful labor, in other words, whatever he does, it is for the Lord. Notice the next verse, he tells us, I'm in a dilemma, I'm faced with a dilemma, I don't know whether to die or to live, I'd rather die and be with Christ, I'd rather die and be with Christ, 24 However, it is even more important for you that I live in the flesh. For the apostle Paul, Peter, James and John, they were not afraid of death. That's the way to think about it, death is precious to God's people. But there's another way of thinking, the God's perspective, and if you don't belong to Jesus, you're bad.

Ezekiel Chapter 33, let's read it together, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked. When the Bible uses the word wicked, it does not always mean rapists or murderers. No, a wicked person is anyone who does not put God first. If you read the Psalms, if you read the Old Testament, the reason the wicked are called wicked is not because they are rapists or murderers, it's because they don't acknowledge God in their lives. You have idols. You don't live for God. Do you believe that there are some people here today, in the eyes of God, you are called evil because you pretend to be here, but I really don't understand your heart, I don't know how you live from Monday to Saturday, you and I can play games with God, because all we have is religion, but that's not what I'm talking about. God's heart is for the wicked, those who deny Him as Lord, because you've been playing with God, you know what I'm saying?

Look what God is saying. God is saying, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked. I am not pleased with your death. What does God want? It only pleases the wicked to turn from their ways and live. Repent, turn, repent, turn from your evil deeds. So, friends, your choice, your thinking perspective. Ezekiel 18:32 : I have no pleasure in the death of the dead, declares the Lord God, so turn back and live. But if you belong to the Lord, the Bible says, He is pleased. You see, for Jacob, when he died in his prime, people would say, how sad, how terrible, how we wish he had lived longer. But you know to God, God says: Jacob, I'm lifting you up now, welcome home, it's time to come home.

Friends, you will not die until you have fulfilled God's purpose for your lives. If you belong to Him, you and I are immortal until our mission is completed. Peter, whose mission was not yet completed at that time, God extended his life, but eventually Peter would be martyred. Jacob was killed. Why? From God's perspective, Jacob, I'm lifting you up now, I'm calling you home, I love you, it's time to come home. You see, you must pray constantly. This will affect your thinking angle, and this angle will be adjusted. Why do we have to pray constantly? We have problems, but we need to change the perspective of thinking. When your thinking changes, your feelings will change. When your feelings change, your behavior will change. Then you even start praying more. You see this cycle, I don't know about you, sometimes I really don't understand.

I remembered the story of a very famous pastor. Someone asked him to pray for someone who had cancer. The wife took her husband to the pastor to pray. That Sunday, the wife told the pastor: My husband is 58 years old, he is facing death due to cancer, can you pray for him? He said: Yes, I will pray for him. On Wednesday or Thursday, he got a call from his wife: Pastor! He was very excited, he thought this man was better. My husband died and when he heard this, he was very sad. Then the wife said, Pastor, don't feel bad. The pastor said: Why? She said, when I brought my husband to church that Sunday, he was the most miserable person because he was so angry with God. He didn't understand why a loving God would allow him to get cancer so that he wouldn't be able to see his grandson. He wanted to see his grandson, he wanted to spend more time with his family, but he got cancer, He was especially angry with God, and when he was angry with God, he was angry with us, and he was angry with me, and we felt a lot of pain.

But that Sunday, when you laid your hands on him, he had peace for the first time. We started reading the Bible together, we started singing together. She said the three days we had together were the best, pastor. Even though God didn't heal my husband, He healed my husband. Wow! What a profound statement! God did not heal my husband, but He healed my husband. Isn't this amazing? Friend, what is that called? This is called the perspective of thinking. Sometimes I don't understand it, but there's one thing I've learned about prayer. When you pray, you must realize that theology is important. God is almighty, and nothing is impossible for God, right? You must know that God is wiser than you and He knows what is best. And you have to believe: God wants the best for you.

So no matter what happens, keep praying. Can you turn to your neighbors, wake them up, and say: Wake up! OK, keep praying. OK, that means you have to give thanks and you have to pray without ceasing. Do you have a question? prayer! Your perspective needs to change. Do you want to see the power of God? It's amazing. Acts 12:7 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood nearby, and a light shone in the house. The angel slapped Peter on the side, waking him up and saying, "Peter, get up quickly"! The chains fell from his hands. Now imagine that God allowed Peter to stay in prison until that night when he was about to be killed, and then God intervened on the final night. What's the lesson here?

Friends, I have learned that when I pray, God rarely moves early, but He is never late. Let me repeat, God rarely moves early, but He is never late. He always shows up at the right time. So single people, give me another wave and say: Hi! Single people, wave to me, will God intervene? At the right time, the question is this, don't be in a hurry, when you compromise on your purity, when you compromise yourself, because you are in a hurry to get married, I'm sorry, you have to learn to pray, to pray is to wait on the Lord, to have Correct thinking and patience. You know, Jesus also waited, and the Bible tells us, Peter, what happened to him on that last night? Miraculously, the chains came off, and not only that, but the angel said to him, "Girn up your belts and put on your shoes"! And he did just that. The angel said again, "Put on your cloak and follow me"! Peter went out and followed him. What was he going to do? Just follow along. Not knowing that what the angels did was true, Peter thought he was dreaming.

The Bible tells us that when they passed the first and second levels of prison, do you remember? I told you, how many guards are there? Four, one on the right and one on the left. It is impossible to escape from this situation, but for God, nothing is impossible. The first and second floors of the prison. Not only that, they came to the iron gate facing the street and it happened. What? The door opened by itself. Can you imagine? The door opened by itself. Isn't God awesome? Yes! See what the Bible says? They went out and walked down a street, and the angel left him. Isn't God awesome? But when you stop praying, you don't experience His power. I want the church to learn to pray fervently, and that's why we have small groups, and I believe small groups all over Jerusalem are coming together to pray, and from house to house, they're praying. God stepped in at just the right time.

Friends, do you need to pray? need or not? Keep praying and don't give up. The greatest motivation for prayer is answered prayer, and the greatest hindrance to prayer is unanswered prayer. When your prayers are not answered, you become discouraged. I suggest that when your prayers are not answered, you continue to pray. Because God has prepared something better. Waiting, not being heard, or something better. Now, what happened? When Peter came to his senses and said, "Now I know that the Lord has sent his angel to rescue me from the hand of Herod and from all the hopes of the Jewish people".

So God did something supernatural. When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, who was called Mark. Now remember, even though some people have sold their property, it's not mandatory for everyone to sell their property. Here's Maria, she still owns the property, and there's John, they still have the property, you know what I'm saying? This is not communism, but generosity. But in this case, many people gathered there to pray. They prayed in Mary's house, right? The Bible tells us, 13 When Peter knocked at the outer door, there was a servant girl named Rhoda. How many of you are named Rhoda? Please raise your hand. This morning we had a man named Luo Da who came out to inquire. When she heard the voice of Peter, she was so happy that she didn't even bother to open the door. She ran in and told everyone, "Peter is standing outside the door"!

Everyone, please read the next verse. This is a comedy. Peter is knocking on the door. what are they doing? They were praying: Lord, please save Peter and let Peter come out. When Peter knocks on the door, "That's not Peter! That's not Peter"! What's our problem? Our problem is this: Sometimes we don't trust our own prayers. We pray, but you don't really believe it. You know what this tells me? God is sovereign. You don't have to have a lot of faith, even a weak faith, like these people, weak faith, God will honor our weak faith, and you know why? Weak faith, little faith, believing in a great God, is strong faith. A great faith in a little God means nothing. How big is your God? Big or small? How many of you have a great God? Please raise your hand, raise it high! OK, how confident are you? Me, just a little bit, that's OK, a little faith, believing in a great God, amen? Praise God!

God's power does not depend on your faith. God's power is absolute, and if He wants to do something, it doesn't matter how many chains there are. It doesn't matter how many people are guarding it. He can set you free. I have a friend who I met in Milan. He has been drinking, taking drugs, smoking, marijuana, and cocaine for 30 years. His friend invited him to go to church in Milan. He was drunk the first time he went to church, so he didn't understand anything. On the next Sunday, he went to church again. On the third Sunday, he felt a little soberer. The Lord touched his heart. He said, on the third Sunday, the Lord entered my life, and I stopped drinking, smoking, and taking drugs. In other words, if you meet the real God and the real Jesus, you will have great success. Can set you free.

Are you bound by anything today? I have good news for you. Don't give up, keep praying. Are you bound by pornography, by drugs, by bitterness, by unforgiveness? You have to keep praying. Do you know what Peter did? Peter silenced them with his hands, and told them how the Lord had brought him out of prison, and said, "Tell this to James and to all the brothers". Who is James? This is not the apostle James, he has been killed. This is James, the brother of Jesus, the same James who wrote the Book of James. "Tell them"! And they went out.

Friends, as we're coming to the end, I want you to watch a video about a guy I met whose name is... It's a really hard name to pronounce, so let's call him by my short name. Well, I'll call him Celso because that's what he told me, but this guy started doing drugs when he was 13, he ran away from home, he robbed 300 banks, he was a thief, he was a robber, he was a monster, He controlled the sale of drugs. He was still young when he was finally caught after robbing 300 banks. When he went to jail, he killed a guy in jail, and you could see how ruthless this guy was, and he was put in solitary confinement. While I was in solitary confinement, my neighbor was having a party, and they were playing a broken record, you know that old record, and if it breaks, it plays in a loop, and the music is: call me, call me, Call me, call me, he said, he had been listening to this voice for three hours, call me, call me, call me, call me, now, come and hear his testimony.

How do you explain that this man was sentenced to 180 years in prison, and this mother prayed, and his sentence was shortened. It was reduced to one-third, 60 years, and then to 30 years. She prayed and prayed, and he came out in the 12th year. Do you know why it is 12 years? It took him 4 years to become a Christian in prison, he needed to study the Bible in prison, he needed to learn to preach in prison, and now he is a pastor, praise God! Friends, God is still active today. Do not think that He was active only in the days of Peter, James, and John. I can tell you many stories, and these are true stories, because I've seen them. Some of you, your prayer life is a bit of a shadow because you don't really believe that power and prayer are related. If someone you love doesn't know the Lord, don't stop.

Keep praying for them. I will pray for the people I love. I pray for my father. I have been praying for 20 years. I pray for many people. Let us pray often, do you agree? So I want all of you to pray often, think about who you're going to pray for, and then pray for them every day, come to small groups, and that's why in discipleship groups, we pray when we get together. On Sundays we come here early. We want you to pray because prayer makes a difference, amen? Prayer is powerful. No wonder Herod was so surprised. The Bible tells us that Herod had to investigate, and when he investigated, the soldiers couldn't explain it. You know what Herod did? Herod then questioned the guards and ordered them to be taken away and killed.

According to Roman law, when you were guarding someone and that person escaped, you were responsible for the punishment that person originally deserved. Can you imagine? Peter was saved, and 16 soldiers had to die in his place. This is Roman law. According to Eusebius, one of the early church fathers, he recorded that a soldier believed in Jesus because of Peter's testimony. He was so affected that he told the Roman government, you kill me, this is OK, he is not afraid of death, do you know why? His perspective changes, and when you meet Jesus, your life changes. So my question to you is: Have you met Jesus? You see, your prayer life will reveal to God whether your spiritual life is authentic.

If your spiritual life is not healthy, look at me and pray that God will restore you spiritually. Herod was angry and the Bible tells us that he went to Caesarea. Caesarea was the capital of the Roman government in Israel. He met the people from Tire and Sidon. When he met them, do you know what they did? They rejoiced and they worshiped Him. Do you know what they say? They told Herod, and they kept saying: This is the voice of God, not of men! Look what happened, the angel of the Lord immediately punished him because he did not give glory to God. He was bitten by an insect and died. Josephus records the same thing. Josephus, who was not a Christian, recorded the same thing. That's why we know that when this happened, the year that Herod Agrippa died was about 42 to 43 AD, AD 42 to 43.

This event occurred 10-12 years after Christ (ascension). The church was growing rapidly and Herod was persecuting Christians. What did God do? God powerfully struck down the Roman ruler who wanted to get rid of the Christian leader. The Bible tells us that when Herod was punished by angels, he died within five days. We don't know exactly what the disease was. Some said it was appendicitis. Some said whatever it was, the important thing is: Acts 12:1, Herod was killing people. In Acts 12:1, the last verse, Herod died.

What does this tell you? God is sovereign. God's will will be accomplished. Just pray. The disciples prayed. I don't think they prayed for Herod to die, they just said, Lord, help us out of this persecution. I don't know what they prayed for. But God is amazing and God saved them. The Bible tells us that the word of God grows stronger and spreads more widely. Look, folks, the man said. Around us is a world lost in sin, and above us is a God who is willing and able to save; our responsibility is to build bridges between heaven and earth, and prayer is a powerful tool for doing this work. You need to pray often. What's today's topic? Pray without ceasing. I suggest praying this prayer, and I pray that you will learn to pray this prayer: Folks, this is a very important prayer that I want to teach you. Lord, you know this is my desire. If you want, you can do it. But I know you know what's best, and you want me to have that best. Not my will, your will be done.

Everyone, please bow your head. If you don't know how to pray, you keep quiet and you listen to God. You pray this prayer: Lord, speak to me, and keep praying, not until God answers you, but until you listen to Him. As you bow your heads, God is moving my heart to pray for some of you. Some of you really don't even know how to pray, and you want me to pray for you. I will pray for you, okay? Some of you do not know the Lord. If you do not know the Lord, it will be difficult to pray. Because you're talking to a stranger. If you want to meet the Lord today, really meet Him, could you please raise your hands and I will pray for you. Praise God, anyone else? You say, I really need to know the Lord, please raise your hands, raise them higher! I want to pray for you. Keep raising your hands.

Father God in heaven, I pray for these people who are raising their hands. They want to know you. I know you love them. Please help them get to know you.

Say this prayer with me now, okay? Those of you who raise your hands, you pray this prayer:

Lord, I need you. I don't know you, but I want to know you. I have little faith. Lord, please accept my little faith. Because you are a great God. Please help me to know you as my Lord and Savior. Lord Jesus, please come into my life and may your Holy Spirit fill me now. Please help me get to know you.

Father God in heaven, for everyone here today I thank you for reminding me, reminding all of us, that we must pray without ceasing, in season and out of season, we must pray without ceasing. Lord, I pray for everyone including myself, that we may know you more.

We're going to pray for this country, and I'm praying for this election, that the right people will be elected, and for those who are dishonest:

Lord, you can do anything, you can take them away, you can get rid of them, but we ask for mercy for this country. Pray that the Lord will give this country good leadership so that this country can progress, materially, spiritually, and in all aspects. I commit everyone here to you now, those of us who are hurting, those of us who are discouraged, please speak to us. Nothing is impossible for you. Thank you that you are a great God. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen! Amen!

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