Do you remember Wednesday night Prayer Meetings? Do you remember in the middle of the week, coming together as a church to pray? Maybe you are still participating in such a ministry. As a pastor’s wife some of my most treasured memories occurred when missionaries were home on furlough. One gentle-hearted missionary from Togo, West Africa gave me goosebumps when she prayed. Her prayers transported me into the presence of God unlike MY own praying!
Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. Acts 12:5
Peter’s friends weren’t getting together for pie and ice cream. No! They weren’t even gathering for nonchalant, fast lane praying. They were gathering to pray, fervently, with an urgency, crying out in deep need! Not that you can’t share fun foodies at such a time, but praying was central and not the gut!
Do you think “poor ole” Peter is frantically awaiting his surmise? No! He’s snoring between two guards chained on either side of him with at least two other soldiers guarding the door (Over kill, right? I think Herod understood Who God is better than the “Church-house” saints hunkered down praying for Peter).
So, we know Peter isn’t nervously keeping an eye out for his executioner because the Bible tells us an angel appeared in the cell as well as a bright light (v. 7). The church’s fervent prayers transported an angel right into the middle of Peter’s prison cell with a flashlight! If it had been me chained to two prison guards awaiting execution, I would have not been sleeping but keeping on high alert for day dawning …And had a light shone in the cell with me, I would have been wide awake expecting my executioner. But the Bible tells us the angel had to strike Peter to rouse him from his slumber (v. 7). Wouldn’t you love to sleep like that?! But not only did the angel have to shake him awake, he had to walk him through each action needed to walk out of that jail: GET UP, DO IT QUICKLY, GET DRESSED, PUT ON YOUR SANDALS, NOW PUT ON YOUR COAT, AND PETER . . . WE ARE BUSTING OUT –SO FOLLOW ME (vv. 7&8)!
So often we pray without expecting an answer even when it is literally standing outside our door (vv. 13-16)!
God wants men and women, boys and girls to cry out, fervently—in prayer. He longs to hear our petitions and rescue His people from bondage.
Cry Out, Oh Church, Cry Out! Let the Church cry out! Oh God restore Your people! We are Your favorite dwelling. The Holy Spirit has been gifted to us for filling us up and teaching us and using us for greater works. However, much of the time we live in the shallow lands and instead of looking up to do the greater work, we waste time looking down to see what all is wrong while grumbling. Looking up, Oh Church, Look up . . . to the mountain tops to our Redeemer and King Who WILL make all things right again (on that day)! Feed our feeble souls and revive us —bring revival to our tents and help us cry out with a passion!