Prayer Without Ceasing
A Sermon on Acts 12:5
5So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made to God intensely by the church.
5Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
What is the church’s greatest weapon? Some may say organizations or church events, but Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues in his sermon on Acts 12:5 that “our ultimate weapon is that of prayer.” The church has been through hard times since its existence, and Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that it is helpful to realize how the church has handled it in the past. In verse five, the answer is provided as to how the early church handled persecution — their prayer was made without ceasing. Dr. Lloyd-Jones seeks to deal with two aspects of prayer from Acts 12: “How does God answer prayer?” and “When does God answer prayer?” First, concerning the text, Peter was in prison during the last night of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and therefore could not be put to death, but would be executed the next day. In light of this, Dr. Lloyd-Jones takes note of Peter’s ability to sleep— it was a gift from God. Also, God answered through the miraculous, as can clearly be seen by his escape. Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges the believer to have faith and expect answers to prayers. Second, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues from this text that God sometimes waits until the last moment to answer prayer in order to test and train.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.