The Praying Church
P. G. Mathew | Sunday, October 18, 1998
Copyright © 1998, P. G. Mathew
A true Christian is persecuted because of his faith. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told his disciples, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matt. 5:11-12). And in 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul wrote, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." If we claim to be Christians and have never experienced persecution, we must question whether we are really Christians.
The early church was persecuted almost from the beginning. As early as Acts 4 we read about the Sanhedrin arresting the apostles Peter and John for healing a crippled man and preaching the gospel. They were thrown into prison and examined by the Sanhedrin before being released with a warning not to preach about Jesus again. But the apostles obeyed the command of God, not that of man. They began to preach again, so in Acts 5 we read that the Sanhedrin arrested the entire apostolic band and put them in prison. This time an angel delivered them and commanded them to go out and publicly preach the gospel in the temple. Once again the apostles chose to obey God rather than man, and so in Acts 5 we see them being brought before the Sanhedrin again and beaten for the sake of preaching the gospel. In Acts 6 and 7 we read of the arrest, trial and death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr and a great preacher of the gospel, and in Acts 8 we read of a great persecution spearheaded by Saul of Tarsus, the great Pharisee, which forced most Christians to leave Jerusalem and scattered them throughout Judea and Samaria. As a result of this persecution and scattering, the gospel spread from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, Galilee and beyond. Then Saul, who was traveling to Damascus to persecute the Christians there, was arrested and converted by Jesus Christ. Saul became an apostle of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the church enjoyed a time of peace.
In this passage we read that King Herod Agrippa, in order to please the Jews, began to persecute Christians anew. This was another attempt to destroy the church of Jesus Christ. But King Jesus, the Lord of the church, has purposed to build his church, and nothing--no king, no earthly power, not even the gates of hell--can defeat his purpose. In Isaiah 40:17 we read, "Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing." And in Psalm 2 David wrote that the One enthroned in heaven laughs at the plans of his enemies and counsels us to kiss the Son, lest he be angry.
In this study we will examine the persecution of the church by Herod, the prayer of the church because of persecution, and the praise that resulted when the Lord answered the prayers of the church by delivering Peter from prison. Persecution leads to prayer and praise.
Herod's Persecution of the Church
In Acts 12:1 we read, "It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them." Who was King Herod? He was a grandson of Herod the Great through his wife Mariamne, a Hasmonean princess. Known in history as King Herod Agrippa I, he was born in 10 B.C. His father, Aristobolus, was murdered by his own father, Herod the Great, in 7 B.C. when Agrippa was only three or four years old.
After his father's death the young Agrippa was sent to Rome to be educated, where he grew up as a family friend of the Caesars. Two future emperors, Caligula, otherwise known as Gaius, and Claudius, were two of his close boyhood friends. King Herod Agrippa I grew up to be a playboy and spendthrift. Because of his debts he finally had to leave Rome, so one of his uncles, Herod Antipas, invited him to live with him in Tiberias in Galilee and gave him a little pension to live on.
In 36 A.D. Agrippa went back to Rome. There he was arrested and imprisoned by Emperor Tiberias for speaking ill of the emperor. But when Tiberias died in 37 A.D., Agrippa's fortunes improved dramatically. The new emperor, Caligula, or Gaius, appointed his boyhood friend to rule over the northeast part of Palestine and gave him the title of king, which is why he is known as King Herod Agrippa I. Then, when Herod Antipas was exiled to Gaul in 39 A.D., Emperor Gaius gave Agrippa the additional territories of Galilee and Perea, which had belonged to Antipas. When Gaius died in 41 A.D., Agrippa's other boyhood friend Claudius became emperor and gave Agrippa the additional responsibility of ruling Judea and Samaria. Thus, from A.D. 41 through A.D. 44, King Herod Agrippa I ruled as king over all Palestine, governing a realm as large as that which his grandfather, Herod the Great, ruled over.
Like his grandfather, Herod Agrippa I was half-Jew and half-Idumean. He was always trying to please Rome and remain at peace with it while also pleasing the Jews. He personally practiced Judaism scrupulously, and as a master politician, he always rose above principles. He knew the Jews were unhappy with the rise of Christianity, especially a Christianity that was now teaching that even Gentiles could be saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone without becoming Jews first. Agrippa could see that Gentile Christianity would eventually dominate Judaism and render it obsolete, so to stop the spread of Christianity, King Herod Agrippa I began persecuting the Christians, or Nazarenes, as they were known at that time. So we read in Acts 12:1, "It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church."
In Acts 12:2 we read that Agrippa had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. This was the first time an apostle had been killed. After James' death, Agrippa took a poll and discovered that the Jews appreciated his persecution of Christians. As a result, he arrested Peter also and made plans to kill him.
Peter in Prison
Acts 12:3 tells us Agrippa had Peter arrested during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Because the Feast of Passover was coming, King Herod Agrippa decided to keep Peter in prison until the eight-day feast was over. Once the feast was over he planned to bring Peter out, conduct a mock trial, condemn him to death, and kill him. Herod knew this would please the Jews.
In prison Peter was treated as public enemy number one. He was held in maximum security, which meant that sixteen soldiers in squads of four each were allotted to guard this Galilean fisherman. Day and night Peter was kept chained to the wrists of two soldiers, one on the right and one on the left. Why? Probably Agrippa was aware of what happened a few years earlier when Peter was in prison together with the other apostles. At that time an angel came and released Peter and the others, commanding them to go into the temple and preach the gospel. Agrippa wanted to make sure Peter was not going to get out of prison so easily again.
Because this was now the third time Peter was arrested and put in prison, we must ask: Why did the Jews think Peter was so terrible? What had he done to deserve being arrested three times? What is the answer? Peter had done nothing deserving arrest. Like his Master, Peter had been going about doing good all these years--healing the sick, casting out demons, performing miracles, and preaching the gospel to the poor. These are all good works, not works deserving imprisonment. But Satan hates the gospel and the freedom that people receive when they believe the gospel, and so he incited Herod Agrippa I to arrest Peter.
Have you ever wondered what Peter was thinking while he sat in prison? We know he was aware that Agrippa had just murdered his fellow apostle, James. I am sure Peter thought he would be killed just as James had been.
Peter knew he would be killed sometime for the gospel, because after his resurrection the Lord Jesus Christ indicated that to Peter, as we read in John 21:18-19: "'I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted: but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.' Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God."
What, then, do you think Peter was thinking while he sat in prison? I am sure he was rejoicing, knowing that he had been faithful in obeying God by preaching the gospel. Peter had already appeared before the Sanhedrin several times, telling them on one occasion, "We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). In other words, "You cannot tell us not to preach the gospel because the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us to preach. Therefore, we will preach what we saw and what we heard, and you can do nothing about it." Another time Peter boldly declared to the Sanhedrin, "We must obey God rather than men!" (Acts 5:29) He then told them, "We are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him" (Acts 5:32). Long ago Peter had determined that he would not be silenced from preaching the gospel, and so he took great comfort knowing that he had been faithful in doing so.
We can imagine, then, that as Peter was waiting in prison, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and God gave him great peace and faith. Probably he was thinking, "This must be the time Jesus told me about years ago. The day has finally come for me to die. I know these people are going to murder me just as they murdered our dear brother James, but I know this is a great opportunity to glorify God. O God, I pray that you will give me the grace to glorify you in death as I have done in life!"
The Church Begins to Pray
How did the church respond to James' death and Peter's imprisonment? They prayed. In Acts 12:5 we read, "Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him." And in Acts 12:12 we read, "When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying." In this time of great trouble and confusion, the church sought God through prayer.
It may be that the church at that time met together in several houses rather than in one large building. When we read the New Testament, we don't find even one mention of a building being used as a church for a large group. But we know members of the early church met frequently in various houses. Here, at this time of crisis, we see that they met together to pray at the house of a woman named Mary.
Who was Mary? The Bible speaks of a Mary who was the aunt of Barnabas and mother of John Mark, the author of the gospel according to Mark. Apparently Mary was wealthy enough to own a large house in the center of Jerusalem. It is possible that it was in the upper room of this building Jesus ate the last supper with his disciples and where God poured out the Holy Spirit upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost. It is also possible that it was to Mary's house that the apostles came after their release from their first arrest, which we read about in Acts 4.
Why do you think the first thing the disciples did was to pray? Because the power of the church is in prayer. The power of the church is not the power of an army or of money or of influence. It is in the power of prayer. In James 5:16 we read, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Here we see the whole church uniting to pray about this serious emergency.
Now, you may want to ask the question, "Why pray at all? Isn't God sovereign, meaning he does what he wants when he wants where he wants how he wants, and no one can stop him"? Or you may ask, "Isn't God omniscient, meaning he knows everything? Why, then, do we have to pray? He knows everything, and he'll do whatever he wants anyway."
What is the answer to these questions? God, the sovereign Lord of the universe, ordained the means by which he does his will, and one of those means is prayer. In James 4:2 we read, "You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God."
Now, I am speaking of the prayer of a righteous man, not the prayer of a wicked man. Elsewhere in the Bible we read that God never hears the prayer of a wicked man who conceals his sins, but he always hears the prayer of a righteous man. Prayer is a God-ordained means for accomplishing his will on the earth.
I want to note here that another means God ordains for doing his will on earth, especially saving sinners, is the preaching of the gospel by a human being. Remember how the angel told Cornelius, "Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He will bring you a message through which you and your household will be saved" (Acts 11:14)? God ordained that message because he saves his people by the means of the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God uses certain means to do his will on earth, and therefore it is imperative that we pray and proclaim the gospel.
How to Pray
In Acts 12:5 we read, "The church was earnestly praying to God for him," meaning in behalf of Peter. As we examine the model of this early church, we can learn how we ourselves should pray.
The church prayed to God. They were praying to the true and living God, the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is very important. When you pray, to whom are you praying?
In Luke 18:9-14 we are told about the story of a Pharisee and a publican going to the temple for prayer. And in verse 11 Luke tells us the Pharisee was praying to himself, not to God. Maybe some of us are also praying to ourselves. If we are, no wonder our prayers are not being heard! Our prayers ought to be directed to God--the one true and living God, the holy God, the mighty God, the saving God, the compassionate God, the sin-forgiving God. We must pray to this God in faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are some people who pray, not to themselves, but to others. Even when they pray in the church, they pray in a way so that other people can hear and take care of their problems for them. Some people pray to idols rather than God, even though idols are mere lifeless creations of men's hands. They cannot hear, smell, see, or understand anything. Then there are some who pray to saints and the virgin Mary as if they were able to answer prayer. These prayers also are not answered because it is wrong to pray to these created beings. PGM The early church prayed to God.
We must all pray only to God! Jesus Christ taught us to pray, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." And in the first commandment God himself told us, "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me." There is no other Savior or Redeemer or God.
The church prayed through the power of the Holy Spirit. If we are Christians, we are to pray to the heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ through the direction and power of the Spirit of God. And if we are Christians, such prayer will not be mere duty, but a delight. It is a pleasure for a Christian to commune with his God, his heavenly Father. In fact, if we are Christians, we will always be wondering how much more, not less, we can pray, because for Christians, it is pleasant to pray. Psalm 16 tells us in his presence is fullness of joy and on his right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Prayer gives us a foretaste of the joy of being in God's presence eternally! Therefore, if we are Christians, we will pray with passion, power and great pleasure through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The church prayed in unity. When members of the Jerusalem church heard of Peter's arrest, they immediately gathered together to pray, and their prayer was characterized by unity. I am sure when the leaders arrived, they told the assembled church, "Wait a minute, brothers and sisters, we are facing a serious crisis. We must make sure that we are praying in a way that is pleasing to God. Let's confess our sins, get right with God and one another, and come together in unity and oneness so that God will hear our prayers. Don't you know our brother Peter has been arrested and is about to be killed? We must come together in the unity of the Spirit, in the love of God, and in one accord. Only then can we trust that God will hear our prayers and have mercy on us all."
This was a time of serious crisis for the church. The authorities had killed James and were now threatening to kill Peter. Both Peter and James were apostles, meaning those who were entrusted with the authoritative teaching and proclamation of the gospel. So they came together in various houses to pray, and they prayed in one accord, agreeing in prayer with one another, as Jesus instructed his disciples to do in Matthew 18:19.
What else do we know about this united prayer of the disciples? We know they prayed to support one another, and especially Peter, during this trial. Remember how distressed Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane? The Bible tells us he was greatly troubled, and he asked his disciples to pray one hour in order to support him in his ordeal. At that time they fell asleep and did not pray, but now they were praying for Jesus' disciple, Peter.
The church prayed publicly. When the disciples heard of Peter's arrest, they gathered together to pray. It is important that each of us has private prayer, but we must also engage in public prayer, because the power of Christians is not in the army nor in money, but in the power of prayer. Through prayer in the name of Jesus Christ any of us can come into the very presence of God and tell him what our problems are, and he will help us. He is our Savior, our Shepherd, our Healer, and our Lord. He is the One who goes in front of us, behind us, and is all around us. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him to deliver them.
The church prayed specifically. In Acts 12:5 we read in the Greek text that they prayed "concerning him," meaning that in their prayers these disciples made specific requests on behalf of Peter to God. I am sure they prayed something like this: "O God, Agrippa just killed our brother James, the one who wanted to sit on the left or to the right of you. Now he wants to please the Jews further by killing the other apostles too, one after the other. O God, this man only wants to destroy us. Intervene, O God, and deliver our brother Peter back to us." I am sure they also prayed, "O God, give Peter peace and strength, hope and great faith at this time. Give him sleep and rest, and deliver him, just as you delivered him in the past. Lord, please spare Peter for the sake of your church. Don't you know how much we need these apostles? They alone have been entrusted with your authoritative gospel, and we depend on them." They also probably prayed, "O God, you who are enthroned in the heavens, you are sovereign and almighty, our only Savior and Shepherd. As the head of your church, it is your responsibility to take care of it. We pray you will act in our behalf again. Didn't you tell us, 'I will build my church upon this rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' O God, nothing is impossible for you!'"
The church prayed earnestly. The Greek word used to describe the disciples' prayer means "stretching out, straining, with great intensity." It is not describing a passive, sleepy prayer, but an active, passionate, concentrated prayer. We see this word also used in Luke 22:44 in reference to the prayer of Jesus: "And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." May God help us to likewise pray earnestly and intensely, stretching out every nerve, straining and storming the gates of heaven!
The church prayed perseveringly. When Peter reached Mary's house, even though it was the middle of the night, the church was praying. Probably these disciples had been praying throughout the night for the entire week Peter was imprisoned. In their passion to see Peter released, they concentrated on praying and pleading with God, even to the point of forsaking sleep and meals.
This is the same type of prayer we read about in Exodus 17. During a battle with the Amalekites, Moses lifted his hands up to the heavens in prayer. As long as his hands were lifted up, Joshua and the Israelites were winning. But when Moses' hands went down, the Israelites were defeated. So Hur and Aaron brought Moses a stone to sit on, and they held up his hands in prayer throughout a long day of battle until the enemy was defeated.
This earnest, intense prayer, passionate, active, specific, persevering prayer is the type of prayer that brings victory. This is the prayer that says, "O God, we have no other hope, no other plan, but to pray and seek you!" It is the type of prayer that the Syro-Phoenician woman practiced whose daughter was demonized. When the woman came to Jesus to seek help for her daughter, initially Jesus rebuffed her. But she would not give up. Why? She knew there was no other Savior or Healer. She persevered, passionately pleading with Jesus time and again. Finally, after the trial of her faith, Jesus commended her, saying, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And the text tells us "her daughter was healed from that very hour" (Matt. 15:28). That is the type of prayer the church prayed on behalf of Peter.
Deliverance Results in Praise
The third point we want to examine from this passage is praise. Persecution leads to prayer and praise. In Acts 12:6 we read that God delivered Peter from prison "the night before Herod was to bring him to trial." God's deliverance generally comes at the last moment. Why? God tries us to see if we have another plan besides trusting in him alone. He comes at the last moment. In this passage we read that the night before Peter was to be brought out, tried, and murdered, probably in the fourth watch of the night between three and six in the morning, God came.
Have you ever wondered why God didn't show up the first night of Peter's imprisonment, or why he didn't deliver him the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth night? If we were in Peter's place, I am sure we would become impatient and start to ask, "Where is God, anyway? I thought he was going to deliver me--quickly!" But let me say it again: God comes in his time, not ours, and our job is to wait patiently for him to do his work. God delivered Peter "the night before Herod was to bring him to trial."
This example of God's "last-minute" timing reminds us of the story of Mordecai recorded in Esther 5 and 6. Haman the Agagite wanted to destroy Mordecai, a Jewish believer. One day he built a tall gallows, intending to hang Mordecai on it. The next day Haman came to the king early in the morning to ask permission to hang Mordecai. But there was one snag in Haman's plan. The king hadn't been able to sleep the night before and God used that time to bring Mordecai to the king's mind. With no knowledge of Haman's plan to hang him, the king determined to treat Mordecai kindly. On the very day he was supposed to be hanged, Mordecai was honored instead. God came at the right time to deliver Mordecai.
In Deuteronomy 32:36 we read, "The Lord will judge his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free." Why do you think God waits for the last minute? Because he is not going to deliver us as long as we have our own strength to save us. Remember Abraham and his wife Sarah? They could not have any children when they were young. But in their old age, when their bodies were as good as dead, God performed a miracle. After visiting this elderly couple one day, the Lord told them, "Next year at this time you will have a son," and in God's time Isaac was born. God delights in waiting until our carnality is defeated. Only then will we trust in God alone, and only then will God will deliver us.
We see God's last-minute deliverance illustrated again in Genesis 22. There God ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord. Abraham obeyed, even to the point of lifting up the knife to bring it down and kill Isaac. What happened? At the last moment the angel of the Lord said, "Abraham, Abraham, don't slay your son!" and Isaac was spared.
Even though we may not understand God's timing all the time, we must trust in God. He will hear our prayers and deliver us in his own time. He will never cast us away when we knock on his door in humble, earnest faith.
God Delivers Peter
How did God deliver Peter? He sent an angel to Peter in his prison cell. Holy angels are ministering spirits, sent from God to minister to us, as we read many places in the Scriptures, including Psalm 91:11, Hebrews 1:14, and Matthew 18:10.
This angel came, not in the dark, but with glory, and the light of that glory filled the cell. What was Peter doing? The text tells us he was in a deep sleep in the fourth watch of the night. That is interesting, isn't it? In the midst of all his trouble of facing death, the apostle was in a deep, calm sleep.
We read about Jesus Christ sleeping in the same way in a boat during a storm. When all those around him were anxious and worried, Jesus was sleeping. In fact, he was sleeping so soundly that the disciples had to shout to wake him up, saying, "Don't you care that we perish?"
Peter himself wrote in his first epistle, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). Peter knew the truth of that statement firsthand and was practicing it in his jail cell. He was enjoying a great sleep, not worrying about what Agrippa might do to him, when God's angel came.
Psalm 127:2 tells us God gives sleep to those he loves. In the middle of any trouble, God will give us a peace that passes all human understanding, and when our hearts are calmed by the Spirit of the living God, nothing can move us. "Be anxious for nothing," our Lord Jesus Christ told us, "because your heavenly Father knows what you need." So Peter was able to sleep soundly in his jail cell.
To wake him, the angel had to hit Peter. The text tells us he struck him on the side, possibly several times, to wake him up. Perhaps Peter had reconciled himself to the fact that in the morning he might be killed and saw this as an opportunity to glorify God by his faith. No doubt he was also looking forward to once more declaring to the Sanhedrin and King Agrippa that, as an apostle of Jesus Christ, he would proclaim again and again this gospel, "Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification" until they killed him. He was determined to die and bring glory to God.
But it was not to be. The angel came and struck Peter on the side, waking him up. He gave Peter five commands: "Rise! Clothe yourself! Put on your sandals! Put on your cloak! Follow me!" And Peter did these things. Peter's chains fell off and he stood up. I am sure the soldiers remained asleep through all of this. Then there was an iron gate, but, automatically, it opened and Peter went through.
How effectual and powerful our prayers are! And when you read Acts 12, it says that Peter was moving and following the angel, all the while thinking he was dreaming. He didn't know what was going on. That is the way God acts. When he comes to deliver us, we don't even believe it. It is as though we are dreaming. But Peter was not dreaming. God was delivering him.
In Psalm 126 we read, "When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed." When God brings salvation to his people, we cannot realize it. We didn't deserve it and we cannot believe what is happening. "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.' The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."
Ephesians 3:20 tells us our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or imagine. There is a dreaming dimension when God saves us. It is beyond all our imagination and our understanding and our analysis. It transcends all human understanding.
In Acts 12:11 we read, "Then Peter came to himself. . . ." Up to that time, he thought he was dreaming. Now the angel left, and he began to feel the cool air of the morning, and realized what was going on. He said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel to rescue me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating." We have a God who is greater than Rome, greater than Agrippa--greater than all our enemies. The Lord delivered Peter from the clutches, control and prison of all his enemies.
Has God Delivered You?
In conclusion, let me ask the following questions. It may be that some of you are in prison, as it were, in maximum security, chained between two soldiers. Sixteen soldiers are assigned to guard you and King Herod Agrippa I has the great power of being able to kill people without checking with anyone. There seems to be no way out.
Let me tell you, there is a way out, according to this text. Jesus Christ will save you, deliver you, and free you. Jesus Christ desires that your chains come off and the doors be opened by the power of the Spirit of God. He calls his people to liberty, salvation, and freedom--freedom from sin and from Satan, freedom from the cares of the world, freedom to worship God in spirit and in truth.
God is offering you freedom today. If you are a Christian, but somehow feel entrapped, I offer you that freedom through Christ. And if you never trusted in Jesus Christ, this story of Peter's deliverance illustrates salvation in Jesus Christ. Man cannot save himself, can he? He is dead in trespasses and sins. He is weak, helpless, and ungodly. He can do nothing to save himself. But God can save you, and when he does, it is as though you are dreaming.
If you never trusted in Jesus Christ, let me offer you this Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world, who will save you from your sins and introduce you to the pleasures on the right hand of God. In his presence there are pleasures and great joy, great peace, great hope, and he gives you eternal life. And if you are a Christian who has already trusted in Christ but you are somehow trapped, may you trust in Jesus Christ to deliver you from all sorts of problems. Know that the Lord Jesus Christ is for you, and if God is for you, who can be against you? It is the will of God that his people be free from all fears, all anxieties, all slaveries, all chains. May God have mercy upon everyone who trusts in his Son, Jesus Christ! Amen.
Thank you for reading. If you found this content useful or encouraging, let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 1998, P. G. Mathew
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® (1984 version). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The "NIV" and "New International Version" are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™