by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)
Many of you probably noticed I wasn’t at church on Sunday. I was in Atlanta, Georgia. And I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a very community-connected church. I say this because the church reflected the people of the community. This means that the people at the church looked like the people of that area. This is also the main topic the training lab brought up and the reason for the event.
But I want to address the pastor’s key point in his message to the church. The pastors are preaching a series on the book of Acts. (This, was my very first series I preached in our church, too!) In chapter 12, this past Sunday, the topic was the miraculous way the Lord was able to free Peter from the prison. After all, he was under heavy guard, with guards guarding multiple doors, on Peter’s left and right and even being chained by the hands to the prison walls. And yet, here’s what the angel did: the angel woke Peter up, caused the shackles to fall off of Peter’s wrists, and led him past two waves of guards before exiting the iron gate of the prison. In fact, Peter assumed this was just a vision from God! Then, when Peter goes to Mark’s mother’s house, he knocks on the door only to have the servant girl be so shocked at Peter’s presence that she forgets to even unlock the door and let him in! Furthermore, she tells the other believers in the house but they do not believe her. Peter continued to knock and they joyfully let him in.
What can we learn from this? That our God is an unstoppable God! He was able to free Peter from a maximum-security prison so Peter could continue to do the work of God. Not even the most elite soldiers of the day were a match to God’s great power. The disciples couldn’t even believe it, but they were doing something extremely important.
What is the act? The answer is in v.5. We must “earnestly pray” together as a church! The believers were likely pleading to Jesus on their hands and knees to free Peter before he was to be brought out to be executed. And they did this in one accord. They were united in prayer and purpose. A united church that prays is also unstoppable! SFCBC, we need to apply the same earnest prayer, and seek God’s face and God’s direction. Let us not make prayer the last thing we do, or even the 2nd or 3rd, but the 1st thing we do in all circumstances! Let us pray against sickness and the fear of sickness. Let us pray healthy and vitality to share the gospel even in the midst of Covid-19! If we earnestly come to the Lord in prayer, we will be unstoppable because we worship an unstoppable God!
但是我想重申牧師在重點信息中給教會的教導。牧師們用使徒行傳作了一系列的講解。 （使徒行傳也是我在我們教會裡所宣講的第一個系列！）在過去的星期天，從第12 章中闡述的主題是主奇妙的作為能使彼得從監獄中釋放出來。當時彼得確實是左右兩側都處於嚴密的監管，多個門口都有守衛把守，甚至他的雙手也是被拴在監獄的牆上。縱使如此，天使依然能領彼得安然離開：天使喚醒了彼得，使手銬從彼得的手腕上掉下，帶領他經過了兩度警衛，然後離開監獄的鐵閘。事實上，當這一切事情發生時彼得還以為是看見異象！後來，當彼得去到馬可母親的家敲門時，他的出現竟然使那使女震驚得忘記了開門給他！及後，她回到屋子裡告訴其他信徒，起初他們也無法相信她。直至他們聽到彼得繼續敲門，此刻他們才欣喜若然地把他迎接進來。
他們作了什麼？答案就在第5 節中。我們必須以教會為整體一起“迫切的禱告”！那些信徒可能俯伏在地上切切地懇求耶穌使彼得能在行刑之前被釋放。他們同心合意地祈求。他們的祈禱和目的一致。一個合一教會的禱告也是不可阻擋的！ 三藩市浸信會，我們同樣需要迫切地禱告，並且尋求神的同在和祂的導向。讓我們不要把祈禱看作至微至輕，又或者把它放置在第二或第三位，我們應該在任何情況下都將祈禱看為是最要緊的！讓我們為能防禦疾病和有能力去對抗疾病所帶來的恐懼禱告，即使在冠狀病毒2019 的籠罩之下，讓我們祈求有健康與活力繼續去傳福音！倘若我們能迫切地向主祈求，我們將也是不可阻擋的，因為我們所敬拜的是那不可阻擋的神！