Once I met someone who was going through a very difficult time. She was struggling with suicidal thoughts, as she couldn’t see the meaning of life. Among other things, I shared with her about how much Jesus loves her, and I encouraged her to spend time in the Word. I prayed for her, and we agreed to meet the following week. – And when I met her again, she was totally changed. She was all smiles! She was enjoying life and found such joy spending time in the Word. I was amazed and asked her: “What happened?” After a few moments of pondering, she said: “I know a lot of people have been praying for me.” – I thought that was so profound, and was reminded of the power of prayer afresh.
When I read the story in Acts 12 , I was once again reminded of the power of prayer:
It was a challenging time for believers. King Herod had just killed James, the brother of John, with a sword, and because he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter as well. Since it was during Passover, King Herod put Peter in prison, having four squads of soldiers to guard him. The king planned to bring Peter before the people after Passover.
Indeed, quite drama. A matter of life and death. But notice how the church responded:
Acts 12:5 – “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.”
The Power Of Prayer
Look at the power of prayer:
It was the night before Herod was to bring Peter out to kill him, and what was Peter doing? He was sleeping (!), bound with two chains between two soldiers. Wow, such peace, where most people would have been fearful and shaken.
He was so sound asleep that the angel who stood by Peter had to struck him on the side and raise him up from his sleep! (So cool how the angel told him to get dressed and put his sandals on.
The Lord delivered Peter from the hand of Herod and from the expectation of the Jewish people.
Amazing! Both that he slept so soundly, and that he was delivered!
I think if we were to ask Peter: “Peter, what happened?”, his answer might be quite similar to the girl I mentioned above: “I know that a lot of people have been praying for me.”