Today's reading: Acts 12:1-19
After having James executed, Herod then turns his attention to Peter planning to do the same thing to him. So as we begin Acts 12, Peter is sitting in prison with an impending death sentence. Not a particularly comfortable situation to be in or a pleasant physical place to be either. At this point, Peter and the church in Jerusalem can't physically do anything about what has happened and is yet to happen to Peter. But . . . they can pray. And that’s precisely what they do. Verse 5 shows us that this body of believers gathered together for the specific purpose of praying for Peter. "[B]ut earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church."
Well God answers the prayers for Peter's release in a miraculous way, sending an angel in the middle of the night to escort Peter safely out of prison. Peter immediately heads to the house where he knows his friends are praying, and when they open the door to discover Peter in the flesh, they are a little stunned. "But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed" (vs. 16). Although this may seem like an odd response, I can totally identify with the very "human" response of Peter's friends. I'm guessing we've all done it—we pray and pray for something and then when God answers, we're surprised. "God, please help us pray with bold expectation and then trust You with the outcome!"
What did this account show you about the power of prayer? What does it reveal about God? How does praying earnestly impact your outlook, your emotions, your patience, your relationship with God, your faith? Tami
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