by Roger Thomas

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What Happens When A Church Prays (10 of 10)
The Lord's Prayer
Roger Thomas
Acts 12:1-24
November 18, 2001

Introduction: Acts is the story of the church from birth to powerhouse. Dr. Luke records how a handful of frightened believers rocked the mighty Roman Empire. If Acts is the story of the church then Acts 12 is the story of the church in crisis. The Jerusalem church had grown rapidly. They had faced persecution. Now their leaders faced execution. I wonder how we would react?

Did you hear the account of the Eastern European church several years ago before the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall? Church meetings had been outlawed. Pastors had been imprisoned. Some had disappeared. One significant underground church continued to meet. Suddenly one night as they were meeting in a secret location, the door to their meeting place burst open and two heavily armed soldiers entered.

One shouted, "You know you are not to be meeting like this? We could kill all of you!"

The other soldier interrupted, "No we can't do that! Let's let them go."

The first soldier turned to the huddled crowd of several dozens worshippers and barked the order, "All of you who really believe this Christian stuff stay here. The rest who are ready to give up this "god myth" may leave and live. Now go!" Many of the scared church members rushed through the door and out into the night.

Once they were gone, the soldier shut the door and bolted it. He turned to the remaining believers and said in a very calm voice, "We too are followers of Jesus. Now that the unbelievers are gone it is safe. We came to join you in worship!"

I wonder what we would do under such circumstances? I hope our children or we never have to find out!

When facing a crisis like that many in our day might picket the city jail, start a petition drive, and lobby our congressman. Some might begin efforts to start a Christian political party. If the preacher were arrested, ...

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