Faithlife Sermons

Prayer and Pride

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Acts 12:1–19 ESV
1 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 the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to 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.” 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place. 18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.
Acts 12:1–17 ESV
1 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 the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to 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.” 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place.
Acts 12 ESV
1 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 the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to 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.” 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place. 18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there. 20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. 24 But the word of God increased and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.
Acts 12:1–18 ESV
1 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 the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to 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.” 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place. 18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter.
Acts 12:1-
Incredibly difficult time for the church
Herod is the grandson of the Herod we know that tried to kill Jesus. Isn’t it interesting that this family is so bent on destroying God’s Plan! But equally is how incredible God is that shows us that we can depend on Him even when things look the darkest.
Verse 1-2 James is killed and it pleased the Jews. It pleased the Jews because Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled the law. No longer did they have to go through the priests to have their relationships with God. Jesus was their high priest. So the Jews were really happy that James was killed.
This emboldens Herod and he goes after Peter thinking he will do the same. The only snag is that verse 3 says that it was during the days of Unleavened Bread which was Passover week. They couldn’t execute Peter until that holiday was over.
So Peter, the head of the church has been arrested and it looks bleak. The guy is sitting on death row awaiting his execution. If I am standing on the outside looking at these circumstances I am thinking that this is a disaster. This is the worst possible thing that could happen. Our guy is about to be executed. It’s terrible. And it would be really easy to lose heart. Wouldn’t it?
Its the everything that can go wrong will go wrong scenario.
But remember that Jesus talked about this. Jesus said that these kind of things were going to happen.
Luke 21:12–13 ESV
12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness.
This is the plan. There is nothing strange going on here. Jesus told Peter this kind of stuff would happen and it’s really happening.
This emboldens Herod and goes after Peter thinking he will do the same.
Peter is sleeping (completely confident that he is in God’s will. Not to be rescued, but is resting in God.
There was no anxiety but complete trust in his Heavenly Father. Do you sleep well at night?
It might help us as Christians to remember that there is going to be trouble in our lives. We will suffer. That IS part of the plan, so please don’t cry to God like something is wrong when we are having hard circumstances. That is what you signed up for when you gave your life to Jesus.
If you went into the service you would go through boot camp. Doesn’t everyone know what happens at boot camp? Their mission is to try to break you. Their mission is to break you down so that they can build you back up into being a great soldier. Everybody knows that and so it isn’t strange that boot camp is really hard. You may complain about it but nobody thinks that something strange is going on.
That is the Christian life too. Please know that life is supposed to be hard. It may not be that you are doing anything wrong. That is what life on earth, especially as a Christian is.
And so Peter is arrested and the church is heartbroken over it. They just lost James and now Peter too?
Peters situation caused the church to pray.
And when you look at the rest of this story what you see is the example of what God wants from us as believers
We can learn from the church here in Acts.
One we learn that Prayer is a priority.. And we see God move because ...
1. Prayer is a priority.
So quickly, prayer is communication with God. They aren’t magic words to get God to do what we want to do. It isn’t about impressing God with just the right words, or just the right cadence or just the right volume. It is simply talking with God. Prayer is talking with God. You can do that and guess what, there is nothing God wants more.
James 5:13 ESV
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
Either way you pray. Either way, whether you are down and out and need help. Pray. When you are happy, praise Him. That is prayer too. Realize that for a minute. Prayer is not just asking God for stuff. God’s not the drive through at the Dairy Queen.
It is praise too.
Prayer is always appropriate. Pray while you drive. When you walk out into the sunshine look for ways to praise Him. Your attitude will change. He desires relationship with you and it begins with prayer.
Jesus was the perfect model. He made prayer a priority. He didn’t do anything without first going to the Father. He had a habit of starting his day off with the Father, alone and in prayer.
To contrast this. (and we can all be guilty of this)
When do we pray? Usually we finally start to pray when the bottom falls out right?
Sometimes our terrible situations are what bring us to our knees. But prayer is more than that. And by God’s Grace He still meets us there.
Psalm 29 ESV
A Psalm of David. 1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!” 10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. 11 May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
That is a God worth praising! That is a God worth praying to. So this is why we make prayer a priority.
What do we do when we have trouble? We pray, what do we do when things are great? We pray, what do we do in normal everyday life? We pray. we make it a priority.
This was what the church did when Peter was arrested. But their prayer had a characteristic that is listed.
We also see God move because ....
2 They Prayed earnestly.
Psalm 29 ESV
A Psalm of David. 1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!” 10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. 11 May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
Psalm 29
salm 29
Acts 12:5 ESV
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.
Acts 5:12 ESV
12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico.
I am afraid that we don’t really know what earnest, fervent prayer might be. The NT church knew, by faith that they had God’s ear. They knew that God would hear them and they kept on and kept on praying because they believed. How easy it is for many of us who “don’t want to bother God with such a small thing”. Or that we don’t have the time to pray, or that maybe prayer feels awkward, or that we don’t really know how to pray.
The word is fervently, earnestly. (continuous, without ceasing)
The word is fervently, earnestly. (continuous, without ceasing)
What I think that may mean is that yes, it means literally spending a lot of time in prayer. I know that it would be very difficult to spend hours of your time in prayer. Unless your child in in the hospital, or if your spouse got really sick. You get motivated really quick when the bottom falls out.
And I am not trying to beat you up because you don’t spend an hour a day in prayer. That isn’t what I am saying.
But is prayer a priority? And are you earnest in your prayer?
I believe that it has a lot to do with belief because we would probably be more earnest in our prayers we if we expected that God was really going to answer.
So we need to make prayer a priority, we need to pray earnestly, We see God move because
3. they pray expectantly. We need to expect that God is going to act.
Sometimes it is an exercise to believe.
Faith isn’t something that just happens. A lot of times we have to believe. (action) Force yourself to believe because God said so. But you can do it. You can have total confidence in God answering your prayers.
Well, maybe you don’t realize that He is doing things but you are either not paying attention, or, you are not looking for Him to answer that prayer. Have you ever prayed for something to happen and then it happens but you don’t really give God the credit? You think it was a coincidence? Or you explain it away? Do not do that. Do not explain away God’s answered prayers.
James 5:13 ESV
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
Either way you pray. Either way, whether you are down and out and need help. Pray. When you are happy, praise Him. That is prayer too. Realize that for a minute. Prayer is not just asking God for stuff.
It is praise too.
Prayer is always appropriate. Pray while you drive. When you walk out into the sunshine look for ways to praise Him. Your attitude will change. He desires relationship with you and it begins with prayer.
Jesus was the perfect model. He didn’t do anything without first going to the Father. He had a habit of starting his day off with the Father, alone and in prayer.
To contrast this.
When do we pray? Usually we finally start to pray when the bottom falls out right?
Sometimes our terrible situations are what bring us to our knees. And by God’s Grace He still meets us there.
But I am afraid that we don’t really know what earnest, fervent prayer might be. The NT church knew, by faith that they had God’s ear. They knew that God would hear them and they kept on and kept on praying because they believed. How easy it is for many of us who “don’t want to bother God with such a small thing”. Or that we don’t have the time, or that we feel awkward, or that we don’t really know how to pray. Or again, we know we are supposed to pray cause we are Christians but we really don’t believe God is going to do anything basically because we have never seen Him do anything.
Well, maybe you don’t realize that He is doing things but you are either not paying attention, or, you are not looking for Him to answer that prayer. Have you ever prayed for something to happen and then it happens but you don’t really give God the credit? You think it was a coincidence? Or you explain it away? Do not do that. Do not explain away God’s answered prayers.
The Message of Acts c. Herod’s Death (12:19b–24)

It is in striking contrast to the death of the tyrant, that Luke adds one of his summary verses: But the word of God continued to increase and spread (24, cf. 6:7; 9:31). Indeed, one cannot fail to admire the artistry with which Luke depicts the complete reversal of the church’s situation. At the beginning of the chapter Herod is on the rampage—arresting and persecuting church leaders; at the end he is himself struck down and dies. The chapter opens with James dead, Peter in prison and Herod triumphing; it closes with Herod dead, Peter free, and the word of God triumphing. Such is the power of God to overthrow hostile human plans and to establish his own in their place. Tyrants may be permitted for a time to boast and bluster, oppressing the church and hindering the spread of the gospel, but they will not last. In the end, their empire will be broken and their pride abased.

Look at those prayers and thank God for answering them! Just thank Him and give Him the credit!
Putting this all together I was thinking that prayer is something that we push off as a joke really.
It really has a lot to do with belief. You have to have faith in this stuff.
Faith isn’t something that just happens. A lot of times we have to verb/action believe. Force yourself to believe because God said so. But you can do it. You can have total confidence in God answering your prayers.
Let me show you confidence. Want to see how God gives you confidence?
Acts 12:6 ESV
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.
Peter is to be executed in the morning. He knows it. He is chained between two guards and what is he doing? Ask?
Sleeping! He is sleeping. Why is he sleeping? Does he take Melatonin?
Because he has complete confidence and faith in the Lord. He is settled in his mind that he is going to be executed, just like James just was and just like his savior and he is at complete peace.
Does that make any sense? It doesn’t make much sense to me
Reminds me of a story of Jesus when they were on a boat and the winds and the waves came up on the sea of Galilee. Jesus was asleep in the boat as it rocked and tumbled on the waves. The seasoned fishermen were scared to death! They even said to Jesus. Don’t you care that we are going to die out here? And Jesus stood up and told the wind and the sea to calm down and be quiet and it did.
He had complete confidence and he was able to sleep even in the middle of deadly circumstances. That is faith in your God. That nothing can take you out of His hand.
Philippians 4:6–7 ESV
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So even in the worst of circumstances Peter can sleep. I am sure he prayed and he gave it to the Lord.
How about you? Are you anxious? Do your circumstances keep you up at night? Understand that you can cast your burdens on God. He cares for you and he has you right in his hand.
The story says that an angel comes and wakes up Peter and breaks him out of prison. This has happened to him before. He is no stranger to jail breaks. And the story says that Peter goes to the house where his Christian brothers and sisters are earnestly praying for him.
He knocks on the door and the girl who answers gets so excited she leaves him there. She goes to tell the praying Christians that Peter is at the door but they don’t believe her. They are praying for Peter and Peter shows up and they don’t even believe it.
God answers their prayers exactly and they don’t even believe it themselves.
How many times do we pray for something and not believe? Or if God answers that prayer we are surprised?
We have to change the attitude of our hearts when it comes to praying. We have to remember that God answers prayers and we shouldn’t be surprised when He does it. We should be glad!
But we should really do it. Don’t minimize prayer. It is so easy for it to become the same old thing. The same words every day. What if you only said the same 10-20 words to your spouse and that was it? What kind of relationship would that be? Treat prayer like God is in the room.
Likewise, When someone tells you their story and how things are really difficult for them and you say, I will pray for you. Pray for them! Really. But many of us don’t. I have told you this before, many times if I offer to pray for someone I will do it then and there because I will forget. I do it right away. Sometimes if I am on the phone I will say “I am going to pray for you as soon as we hang up, but many times I don’t need to hang up.
When someone tells you their story and how things are really difficult for them and you say, I will pray for you. And you never do!
If you offer to pray for people do it.
And again, praying and believing that God will answer that prayer.... according to His will.
But there is a tension. And maybe some of you are thinking, what about verse 1 and 2?
Acts 12:1–2 ESV
1 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,
Did the church not pray for James? I doubt that. He was prayed for and he was executed. As a matter of fact if you fast forward you will find that all of the original disciples except for John died as martyrs meaning they were killed/murdered. And I am sure that they prayed and were prayed for.
So you might say, “Mark you just told us to pray and believe and that God answers our prayers”. And yes, that is still what I am saying.
God answers prayers
Prayer is Complete dependence on God,
pride is dependence on ourselves. Even when we think we are helping out God.
We are not in control—We pray 12:5
We are not in control—We pray 12:5
When we pray we believe 12:15
God answers prayers
And this is huge: Please hear this… Just because God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you want it to be answered does not mean that He didn’t answer the prayer.
And this is huge: Just because God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you want it to be answered does not mean that He didn’t answer the prayer.
1 John 5:14–15 ESV
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
God hears your prayers and he answers them according to His will.
This is such a difficult concept to get ingrained in us but once we get it it is so freeing. Because when we pray we are positioning ourselves to God’s will, not our will, but Gods.
We are to ask for us, but we must be aligned with God’s plan so that he will answer our prayers according to His will.
Why didn’t I get that mini bike as a teenager?
James 4:3 ESV
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
When you pray, pray by saying not my will be done but your God’s will be done.
when you are growing in Christ there is a constant change that is happening in our lives. Sanctification, the steady conforming to the character of Christ. When we are in Christ, when we are in the word, when we are praying, when we exercise faith, when we obey God we are becoming more and more like Jesus.
And even if things aren’t going as we want to we understand and bend our will to the fathers.
That is what Jesus did. Jesus did not look forward to the cross, he said, God if there is another way let this cup pass from me.
He didn’t look forward to the cross but he was obedient to the will of God even in His life.
Even when the apostles are being put to death they are triumphing. That is what we call God-Math.
You might be going through something right now that requires some faith. I ask you to pray.
Understand that prayer is the complete dependance on God. Pride is the opposite of prayer.
There was no anxiety but complete trust in his Heavenly Father. Do you sleep well at night?
Quickly. Let’s get back to Herod at the end of the chapter.
Acts 12:19–25 ESV
19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there. 20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. 24 But the word of God increased and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.
Acts 12:20–25 ESV
20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. 24 But the word of God increased and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.
At the beginning of this chapter, Herod is on a crazy tear to destroy the church and it even looks like he is winning, but in the end he dies this horrible death as he accepts praise and glory that is only due to God. Pride is the opposite of prayer.
The Message of Acts c. Herod’s Death (12:19b–24)

It is in striking contrast to the death of the tyrant, that Luke adds one of his summary verses: But the word of God continued to increase and spread (24, cf. 6:7; 9:31). Indeed, one cannot fail to admire the artistry with which Luke depicts the complete reversal of the church’s situation. At the beginning of the chapter Herod is on the rampage—arresting and persecuting church leaders; at the end he is himself struck down and dies. The chapter opens with James dead, Peter in prison and Herod triumphing; it closes with Herod dead, Peter free, and the word of God triumphing. Such is the power of God to overthrow hostile human plans and to establish his own in their place. Tyrants may be permitted for a time to boast and bluster, oppressing the church and hindering the spread of the gospel, but they will not last. In the end, their empire will be broken and their pride abased.

Know this. Those things that pride is depending on ourselves. We think we don’t need God. We don’t give Him the honor due him and we only look to ourselves. We think that we can do all this on our own. That is pride.
The word says that God hate pride but gives grace to the humble.
What is going to change in your life this week? I want to challenge you to pray more. Men, if you don’t pray as a family even before you eat I want you to start doing that, you are the Pastors of your family. When you get to lunch today. Say a prayer, thanking God for the food that he is giving you. Ask God to give you strength as a family to do His will. God wants that. God wants you to pray. Kids, wives, don’t start eating until Dad prays. Encourage him in this. Respect him in this.
Husbands and wives pray together. Literally. Spend a couple of moments a day.
pride is dependence on ourselves. Even when we think we are helping out God.
When we pray we believe 12:15
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