So Peter was kept in prison, but fervent and persistent prayer for him was being made to Yahweh by the church.
Acts 12:5 (AMP)
I love this chapter and for some time, verse 5 has been pivotal for me…BUT THE CHURCH PRAYED (NIV)! When the people of Yahweh unite in earnest and persistent prayer, doors open, sentries are frozen, chains become unlinked and fall from the bound and His children walk in freedom and victory.
As we move through the 21 days of prayer, know that there is power in the united prayer of the Body of Messiah. We are a community united in our determination to see the power of Yahweh manifested in our lives and in our land. Here are some takeaways from today’s scripture (Acts 12:1-17):
Yahweh is in control
When we understand that Yahweh is in control, we unite in prayer despite the results of previous events. The church in Acts chapter 12 would have certainly prayed for the deliverance and freedom of the apostle James, but King Herod still put him to death. The death of a loved one, of a faithful disciple must have been painful and perhaps even discouraging. But in the face of persecution, loss and disappointment, they prayed. I know that the last two years and the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our faith and our ability to hope and believe even in the face of loss and disappointment. Yet, I remind you to keep praying and believing. Yahweh is still in control.
Never too difficult
I wonder why Herod was so militant in his approach to securing Peter? Four sets of four soldiers (one set for each watch) and double chains, while in prison. It is evident in the doubling of efforts that Herod was expecting trouble or a challenge. Well, he got neither, but he was certainly handed a defeat. There was no physical confrontation to his sentries and soldiers and Peter was not inclined to struggle his way out of his own chains, he was actually able to sleep in spite of the threat. Herod knew that he could lose this prisoner, but his methods were always going to be inadequate. Sentries and chains were no match for the angel of Yahweh, sent to release Peter. Be encouraged by this, the enemies attempts to keep us bound and oppressed is no match for the power of Yahweh. Say a prayer of deliverance for the bound today. May the gates be flung open to the strongholds that are physical, spiritual and mental and may the people of Yahweh walk freely and give Him honor and praise.
Peter’s instructions were 1) “quick, get up”; 2) “put on your clothes and sandals” and 3) “wrap your cloak around you and follow me”. As we pray and receive the answer to our prayers, let us get up quickly, be fully clothed in His power and Spirit and follow our Deliverer. Let us move out and go forward, leaving behind what held us back, and walk through the length of our days giving honor to Yahweh, telling of His goodness and spreading the gospel.
Read: Acts 12:1-17
Write: We are one Body, if one is bound then it concerns us all. Pray for your community, your church, your family. It is not the will of Yahweh that any should remain bound or broken. For those who are persecuted for righteousness, do not lose heart, Yahweh is able to deliver His people out of all their troubles. Write the names of the people and churches you are praying for today.
Pray: Adoration, Confession. Thanksgiving, Supplication (intercession)
Featured Prayer/Scripture: Acts 12:1-17
It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 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.
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6 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. 7 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.
8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.