In Acts 12 we learn that Peter was arrested and thrown into prison. Since Herod had just put James, the brother of John, to death, we might assume that Peter was in serious trouble. What was the Christ’s assembly’s response to Peter’s predicament? We are told that “fervent prayer was made by the assembly to God concerning him” (Acts 12:5). They were praying for divine intervention. They wanted to see the power of heaven intervene in Peter’s earthly circumstances.
We are also told how they were praying…fervently (Acts 12:5). The results were exciting. Blatant divine intervention occured. God answered the prayers of the Christ’s assembly. He sent an angel who woke up Peter (without waking the guards he was chained to), released the chains that bound him (still without waking the guards), and led Peter right out of the prison. Peter and the angel walked by the guards, who were apparently blinded, and out of the iron gate of the city (which opened all by itself). Peter was free! Heavenly realities influenced earthly circumstances in direct response to the prayers of God’s people. This was not a Hollywood special effect, this was real. The event was so extraordinary that not even Peter believed it was actually occuring. The text tells us that he thought he was having a vision (Acts 12:9).
Peter then went to the house where the men and women of the Christ’s assembly were praying for him. They were still praying while Peter stood at the door knocking. When the servant girl reported that Peter was at the door, their response was classic.
Acts 12:15, “And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she strongly affirmed that it was even so. And they said, It is his angel.”
The assembly didn’t have faith that God would actually do what they had prayed about. They reasoned that it must be Peter’s spirit knocking on the door, and not Peter himself! Meanwhile, Peter was still knocking. Finally, they opened the door. The text says they were “amazed.” The lights finally went on. “Wait a minute! Peter gets jailed, we pray, God springs him, God answers prayer!”
Here’s the point. Jesus gives those who bear his name the privilege of appropriating or claiming divine intervention through prayer. It is not our kingdom we are praying for, we affirm the will of God through prayer and bring the reality of His kingdom into our lives. What an exciting privilege! I hope and pray you capture a sense of the incomprehensible opportunity that God has placed at our fingertips, which awaits our appropriation and application.
Remember, if you want God to answer your prayers…
James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
Malachi 3:7, “…Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
Psalms 37:4-5, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”