“. . . but constant prayer was offered to God . . .”
Things looked very bleak for Peter. Persecution was on the rise throughout Israel. Many of his friends had been forced to flee to other nations for their safety and survival. James, perhaps his closest friend, had been killed by Herod, as a way to increase his political status. Now Peter found himself arrested and awaiting what was sure to be a mock trial and certain execution. He had watched this scene develop once before. We read that these events transpired during the Feast of Unleavened Bread which followed Passover. It was during this time of year Peter had watched his Savior arrested, condemned and crucified. If ever there was a desperate hour in the life of Peter, it was now. Until we read,
“. . .but constant prayer was offered to God . . .”
In the seemingly hopeless situations that life brings, prayer is the answer. The church in Jerusalem had no resources. They had no money for a high-powered attorney to represent Peter, nor did they have any sway with the authorities. Apart from God doing something, the fate of Peter was sealed. Until we read,
“ . . .but constant prayer was offered to God . . .”
No matter how hopeless our situation, there is always hope when we look heavenward. Instead of looking at the power of Rome, or the rage of the religious leaders, the church chose to look up to the Throne of Grace. Seated there, is the One who calmed the sea, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons and saved the lost. He is also the One who gave His life on Calvary’s cross to save us. They could be absolutely certain that Jesus, not only had the power to rescue Peter, but also the desire. So they prayed and prayed and prayed, until finally, they heard a knock on the door and saw the face of Peter.
I think it is also worth noting, they did not pray alone. While God hears us when we get alone with Him, something special happens when we call the saints and seek Him together. Jesus spoke of the added power when two or more agree together in prayer. Perhaps you are facing great difficulty. Perhaps, like Peter, you have no resources and there seems to be no way out. Don’t be discouraged. Instead, call to arms your Christian friends, and seek the Lord until you hear the knock on the door and are delivered from your prison.
Questions for Acts 12
- Herod has killed James, the brother of John and has put Peter into prison. As we read on, Peter was delivered from his chains in prison. Here is an interesting example; sometimes the Lord delivers and sometimes He doesn’t. Regardless, these 2 men were serving the Lord. This is great insight to how the Lord works. We never know what He is going to do, but we do know He always has a plan and a purpose. Read Romans 8:28. Try to look at your life today from a different perspective; you may gain some great insight?
- We read in verses 9-11 that this deliverance for Peter was so amazing, he thought he was dreaming. God loves you and wants you to experience Him in amazing ways! Do you know how much he loves you? Read John 3:16-17.
- What a wonderful story of Rhoda, her excitement overcomes her common sense to open the door and let Peter in. Scripture always gives us insight about God. What characteristic of our Lord are you seeing in this passage?
- Herod thought that putting the church leadership to death or in prison would stop the growth and please the Jews. We see the sovereignty of God unfolds Herod’s plan and removes him. Check out verse 24.
- Barnabas and Saul returned after had _____________ their ministry. How are you doing in the current tasks that the Lord has instructed for you? Are you ready for the next opportunity to serve?