“When he (King Herod) saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.” — Acts 12:3-7
King Herod just executed Jesus’ half-brother James and now was going after Peter. There was no hope for him, as I sense even Peter, as he went bed, was resigned to the fact that in the morning he was going to be sentenced to death. If you had given Peter a multiple choice of how his situation could change for the better by morning, sending an Angel to lead him out of prison would not have been on his list. But isn’t that the way God works? The beginning point of God’s hands are at the end of ourselves.
Let me reframe the miracle here;
- Peter was in chains inside a prison cell
- He was sleeping between 2 soldiers
- It was the 11th hour of his life– he was going to die in the morning
- An angel led him by 10-12 soldiers
- He had to walk through an iron gate
Prayer is work but works
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What jumps out at me is on the frontend and in the middle of these chain of events was that the church was praying for him. Other believers were praying when Peter gave up. When God’s house on the earth is a house of prayer, then God’s house in heaven is busy and powerful in its plans and movements. ‘For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people’ (Isaiah 56:7).I think the power of prayer has the ability to flip a situation and, in particular praying for others connected through the family of God, has the power to transform a city, nation, and world. How often are you praying for others in your church body? For your city? Schools? Leadership? Praying for those whom you don’t know personally is a blessing to be connected to someone else’s miracle.
God’s not through writing someone’s story by using your prayers. Keep praying even when they may have stopped.
What people group is Jesus asking you to commit to prayer?