November 2, 2020
About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration. ) Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
Acts of the Apostles 12:1-5 NLT
In case you don't know the rest of the story, let me fill you in. Peter is in prison, waiting for his trial. He knows that Herod has just killed James and is planning the same fate for him. But Peter has enough peace that he is sleeping when an angel comes, wakes him up, and miraculously leads him out of prison. Peter thinks he is having a vision until he realizes he is free, and it was a miracle from God.
What was the difference between the imprisonment of Peter and the imprisonment of James? The key seemed to be James' imprisonment; no one seems too concerned. Once he is killed and Peter arrested, the church decides to get serious and "prayed very earnestly for him."
I wonder what we would accomplish if those of us who are followers of Christ got serious about prayer. Suppose we were to decide that we will not allow Satan to destroy our marriages, children, finances, physical bodies, friends, and nation. What if we decided we would pray against systemic racism, abortion, human trafficking, generational poverty, educational inequality, social injustice, spirits of addiction, and spirits of perversion?
Perhaps, we think we are good enough to solve these problems ourselves. I suggest we are not. The longer we pretend to be in charge and capable, the more we become victims of Satan and lose the spiritual war waging around us.
I love the challenge from Brasília Schlink, "When human reason has exhausted every possibility, the children can go to their Father and receive all they need. ... For only when you have become utterly dependent upon prayer and faith, only when all human possibilities have been exhausted, can you begin to reckon that God will intervene and work His miracles."
How much do you want a miracle? Perhaps, it is time to get serious about prayer.
Holy Spirit, please birth within me a new passion for prayer. Forgive me for my complacency. Forgive me for thinking I am too busy to pray. Direct me to have eyes of faith to see what You desire in my world. Daily, help me get into agreement with You about my world.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.