Saturday, January 14, 2017
Saturday, January 7, 2017
The Book of Acts also provides us with a dramatic lesson on the importance of consistent prayer. Acts 12:2 records the death of James, the first apostle to be martyred, at the hands of King Herod. When he saw that James’ death made the Jews happy, he detained Peter in prison with the intention of killing him as well. The church, mourning the loss of James,was not going to lose another one of their friends and leaders. Their response to the imprisonment of Peter was to pray: “… but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (Acts 12:5). Notice that it was not just prayer but constant prayer. That night, Peter was miraculously set free by an angel and reunited with the friends who had been praying for him. Continuous prayer was the key for the believers in Acts to gain access to the realm of authority that was needed to see Peter set free.
Jesus Culture: Living a Life That Transforms the World (p. 155)
Here's a bit of the account Liebscher refers to.
About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword, 3 and when he saw that it pleased theJews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 Andwhen he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiersto guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. 6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers,bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
There's a bit more to the account of this event, but this is part in question, where Peter is rescued.
Liebscher wrote “Continuous prayer was the key for the believers in Acts to gain access to the realm of authority that was needed to see Peter set free”. Now, while the passage does mention that the church prayed, it says nothing about them gaining access to a realm of authority, and that this is the reason Peter was set free.
In fact, look at Peter's own words, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” Peter doesn't say that the church got the authority to send the angel to set him free. It was God's work, not the church's.
Not only is the idea that “Continuous prayer was the key for the believers in Acts to gain access to the realm of authority that was needed to see Peter set free” not in this passage, it is also nowhere else in the Bible. This is something Liebscher either made up, or got from someone else, either directly or through degrees of separation, who made it up.
Prayer is a good thing, but nowhere does the Bible teach us that prayer gets us into realms of authority. Prayer is petitioning, it is asking God to do something.God chose to rescue Peter here. But in this same passage from Acts 12, it says that James was killed. Was he killed because the church didn't pray for him? What about the other persecutions mentioned in Acts, for example the people Saul put into prisons? What about what Paul himself went through, the beatings and scourging and other things he mentions in II Corinthians? What about the martyrdoms the apostles suffered, not to mention the many martyrdoms that have occurred over the past 2000 or so years?
Liebscher's teaching here is simply bad, and it's completely unbiblical.