My pastor shared a wonderful message yesterday on the power of prayer. He particularly emphasized corporate prayer and used the example of Peter’s ‘release’ from prison in Acts 12: 1-19 as evidence.
Please take a few moments to read the passage. You may recall that Peter was the top dog in the Christian world at that time. King Herod realised if he took out the top guy then the church may get discouraged and fade away into the background. But the church had other ideas. They “earnestly prayed to God for him.” (v5)
And God answered.
My pastor mentioned the 5 amazing ways God answered their prayers. I thought this was a great way of both summarizing the passage and providing encouragement for all of us to remain fervent in our prayers.
It awakens people.
In this case, Peter (v7). However, there may be people you’ve been fervently praying for, for example, their salvation, and they can be awakened as a result of God answering those prayers.
Breaks chains (v7b)
We may be bound by stuff, whatever they may be. Prayer can break strongholds over our lives.
Angels are activated
Who did God use to wake Peter and escort him to freedom? An angel. For those of you who’ve read Angelguard will know that it’s one of the novels key themes.
16 soldiers guarded Peter (v4) but they didn’t lay a hand on him as he walked out of the prison. Judging by v18 it would appear they had absolutely no knowledge of his departure.
Doors opened (v10)
Peter walked out of prison and the gates simply opened. Similarly, I look at the time I had a publishing door opened to me so I was able to send my manuscript direct to the acquisitions editor by way of an introduction. Yes, that was an answer to many prayers.
“Desire is the soul of prayer” (Andrew Murray)
Prayer is powerful. God answers. Hang in there, and take encouragement from Peter’s experience. Engage others to join you in your prayers. Drop me a note in the comments below so I can be praying with you.
When did you last experience an answer to prayer?