So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. (Acts 12)
Such a simple verse and yet a super-powerful principle. One of the original disciples of Jesus had just been executed by Herod Agrippa, the King of Judea and the grandson of Herod the Great. Herod then proceeded to arrest Peter with the intent on executing him in front of everyone in Jerusalem. Peter was one of the prominent leaders of the early church, and so the church needed to do something quick to rescue their great brother and leader.
So what’s the first action that they decided to take in their effort to rescue Peter?
Their first response was earnest prayer to our Almighty God in heaven knowing that he could save his servant. It seems to me that this group of early Christians esteemed prayer to a more appropriate position in life than many of us tend to do today.
If faced with a similar situation today, would we be more likely to respond with some immediate planning and strategizing or with intense and earnest prayer?
I do not believe that this early group of Christians prayed because they were fearful to do anything else. I truly believe they prayed because they felt that this was the most effective first step to help their brother in danger.
May God forgive us for ever viewing prayer as a secondary step in our service and support for others.
And may prayer become our first response rather than just our last resort.
Today, we still have Christian brothers and sisters all over the world suffering, living in exile, imprisoned, and experiencing extreme poverty. As I write this, a 15 year old girl named Leah Shribu is being held hostage in Nigeria and her execution is expected soon. Pray for her.
We need to earnestly praise God that we are not experiencing these things ourselves. And as soon as we hear of persecution descending on our brothers and sisters, we need to be quick to respond in prayer that ascends to our Father in heaven.
Lets praise our God for the power that he possesses and lets learn to rely on his willingness to wield that power at the sound of a humble prayer.