A guest post by Ted Pavloff
“And at the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number; to such an extent that they even carried the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. And also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits; and they were all being healed.” Acts 5:12, 14-16 (NAS).
It should be impossible to read the Book of Acts without being in a state of awe and wonder. From the Day of Pentecost, when they were baptized and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the apostles lived and ministered in the reality of the miraculous every day. And all of that blessing and power and gifting was not reserved just for them, but even laymen like Philip and Stephen moved powerfully in the Holy Spirit, shaking entire cities.
Angels appeared to those who obeyed the directions of the Holy Spirit and unlocked their chains. The world even experienced the first automatic door as Peter walked out of prison, following the instructions of an angel. In our text, Peter was so anointed that even people touched by his passing shadow were instantly healed. Healed cripples were leaping and dancing through the Temple concourse. All the power that was vested in Jesus when He walked the earth was now poured out upon the believers, and as Jesus predicted, they now embarked on the road of doing even greater things than He did. The result — through the power of the Holy Spirit, wimps were turned into warriors; the sick, blind, and crippled were healed; restoration and deliverance were the order of the day wherever the believing apostles and lay believers went.
Well, what about today? The truth is, we need more of Jesus, more of His saving, healing, and miraculous power, more of the presence of the Holy Spirit than in any previous generation. But can we have it? The answer is a big Yes! But take a look at the early church. The believers of the Book of Acts knew the cost of miraculous living, and they joyfully paid the price. In the midst of their new-found infilling of power, they constantly sought the face of the Lord — that is, they were a praying people. From chapter 1 verse 1, to chapter 28 verse 31, it tells how prayer moved God; regardless of their circumstances.
Some people today get wonderfully saved, even baptized in the Holy Spirit, but somehow soon find themselves in a state of confusion. Notice the case of Paul: struck down on the Damascus Road, he was out of commission; in fact blinded and totally helpless. Nothing happened until he prayed. He prayed for three days, and during that time he got to know Jesus in a true, intimate way. Even though he was a new convert, he needed no counselor, no prophet, no word of knowledge; he never felt the need to run all over the Middle East looking for someone to give him a “word.” Why? Because he prayed, and prayed, and prayed. As a result, he heard the Lord say, “I will show you. Go; just keep in touch.”
God moved powerfully with Paul, Peter, and all of the believers in that day, to bring the message of salvation and Holy Spirit baptism to the Gentiles. All through the Book of Acts we see phrases like “God said to them.” “The Lord said,” “The Holy Ghost said.” “The angel of the Lord said.” Those praying saints got the clear and unmistakable Word of God with amazing clarity.
There is a teaching in the land today that says you pray only once, or even not at all — just believe. And if you pray more than once over the same issue, you are demonstrating unbelief. This is contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the Scriptures. Prayer is God’s idea; He invented it and expects — and in facts pleads for us to use it. When you pray, and bring alongside believing faith, obedience, studying and meditating on the Word, then you have the greatest power in the universe working for you. Under this kind of covering, prayer will be the switch that closes the circuit and allows the surge of power to perform the miraculous.
This truth is all through the Bible. Abraham’s faith was so strong it was counted to him as righteous. Yet he ran to the altar of God over and over again to pray. Moses had a one-on-one relationship with his Jehovah, yet he was a persistent pray-er. And Elijah: when he prayed for rain, he sent his servant seven times to look for a cloud. And they kept at it all the way to victory. You don’t give up. Then how about Daniel? It took 21 days of praying, along with some fasting and weeping, but did he ever get an answer!
God wants to talk to us, and He wants us to talk to Him. The promises in His Word are numerous and every one answered “yes and amen in Christ Jesus.”(2 Cor. 1:20). Beloved, He is calling to His Holy Remnant (that’s us) to be found faithful in prayer. And like He did the saints of old, He will lift us to that miraculous realm wherein we walk as prayer warriors. If we take the time to be closed in with Him, we will walk in that realm.
God’s will is His Word, and His Word is His will. The Scriptures say that faith comes by His Word. Then we activate that faith by our prayers — the pathway to having our needs met and living in the miraculous. Glory!
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