Acts 12:1-17.

It seems that men in our modern age have forgotten what prayer is all about. Many people think that as a Christian, you’re obligated to pray. I believe that myself; however, let’s use a little discernment and good sense in the matter of our communication toward God. Our God knows that we cannot stay on our knees, 24 hours a day. We must provide the basic necessities of life for our families. We have numerous responsibilities we are faced with, and many needs, we have the God-given ability to provide for without hours of agonizing prayer. God has given us the responsibility of learning his word. We need not pray about some things.

If a man clutches his chest, falls to the floor and ceases to breathe, you need not pray about calling an ambulance. You need not pray about administering CPR, many Christians use prayer as an excuse. Some don’t want to answer a request, and they will say, “let me pray about it.” Some want to gossip and will say, “let’s pray about this.” Some are just lazy and will say, “I just haven’t gotten liberty from God to do this.”

It’s time many people grow up and admit, some things we need not pray for.

If you’re in a church where there are unscriptural perversions being practiced, you need not pray about leaving the assembly and going elsewhere. God’s word is already clear to be separate from some things. If you have some sin your life. You need not pray about getting it out. God’s word is clear on sin. If there’s something in your heart and life that you’re just not certain about, get rid of it. If you cannot be comfortable with it, Romans 4:23 tells us that whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

We must get prayer back into proper perspective. Put it to good use for it is a precious gift, a privilege, a duty, a service, a responsibility and a valuable tool if used properly. We must pray, but we must do it the way that God wants it to be done.

Prayer is not your toy to play with when you please. Prayer is to be ceaseless, fervent, and reverent. In 1st Thessalonians 5:17, we read we are to pray “without ceasing.” As already stated, God does not expect us to be on our knees, 24 hours a day. I must work to clothe and feed my family. Does anyone dare to think that an infinite God does not already know this? Regardless of what you may think, we can pray about anything. I am not saying it is wrong to pray about whatever you may have a need or desire for. Nothing is too great for God. Neither is anything too small for God. There is nothing wrong with praying that God will give you a good parking space. I pray for that. I have asked God to hold the rain until I mowed my lawn, and I thanked him afterward. I’ve asked God to help me make it to the gas station when the gauge is on empty, and thanked him for it when I got there. If I thought God did not do these things how could I trust him with my wife and children? Even the ministry? If I could not trust God to help me through minor aches and pains. How could I trust him in major calamities? By all means pray! But remember some basic etiquette in prayer. This is God. You’re speaking to, not your genie in a bottle. He’s not to be called only the time of fleshly lustful desire. God is God! God is not just one to call on and cry gimme, gimme! Use the privilege of prayer, rightly.

Prayer is also not a sign of a great spiritual plane upon which you may dwell. Although you can’t be a spiritual Christian and not have a prayer life. On the other hand, you can be a super spiritual hypocrite and pray for many hours a day. Don’t boast within yourself of how many hours a day you spend in prayer. If you are right with God Just rest on the thought of answered prayer in your life. James tells us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. He does not say the long, repetitious prayer of a religious man. Notice the us in James 5:16.

It didn’t take long for Elijah to pray down fire from heaven. In 2nd Kings 6:18, Elisha simply prayed, “smite this people, I pray, with blindness.” And the Lord blinded the whole Syrian army that had come after Elisha. Don’t be fooled into believing that you have to make long impressive prayer before men in order to receive an answer from God. Just make it effectual and fervent. That with faith is all God requires for an answer.

Prayer must also have purpose. In acts 12:1-17, you see no prayer uttered by Peter for his own deliverance. Peter was not begging God to save his life, he was not weeping for the grief of dying so young. Why? Did Peter not care? Did he not want to live? Of course he did. Remember, Romans 14:23, “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Peter would’ve been wasting God’s time in praying for rescue, because he already knew he was not about to die. Jesus had already told Peter in John, 24:13, that he was going to live to be so old that another would have to dress him. There was no need for Peter to pray for deliverance, no purpose.

The church, however, knew nothing of this. They could not read the New Testament and see the outcome. They had no idea what God was going to do, so they prayed. They prayed with purpose.

At mealtime, do you ask God if you should eat? No, you thank God for the meal. If you are sick or injured, do you ask God if you should seek help? No, you go to a doctor. Friend, God gave you a mind with which to think and reason. We should think sometimes and be reasonable concerning this thing of prayer. Amen.


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