Free to Fly!

Mar 19, 2024 | Hope

“So Peter was kept in prison, 
but earnest prayer for him 
was made to God by the
church.”
Acts 12:5
“But Peter continued knocking, 
and when they opened,
they saw him and were amazed.
But motioning to them with 
his hand to be silent, 
he described how the Lord
had brought him out of prison…”
Acts 12:16, 17a

As we read Acts 12, it becomes clear how the apostle James lost his life through execution by sword at Herod, the king’s orders.

His partner, Peter, they threw in prison because he taught others about Jesus Christ. Herod intended to have him executed after a week of celebration that occurred after the Passover.

The apostles counted the cost and risked their lives daily to spread the knowledge of Jesus Christ in order that others would come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. They were not afraid to put their lives on the line for Jesus who gave His life on the cross for sinners.

Often we hold too tightly to things of this world as if they can save us. We don’t always count the cost or give as we are called to give.

After James had died a martyr’s death, the persecuted church in Jerusalem spent time in “earnest prayer” for Peter, who was in prison awaiting execution. (Acts 12:5)

As I read Acts 12:5, I marveled at the importance of prayers raised by the church to God.

And I wondered if we prayed for people in prison by name, how might God release them before they faced death?

Many are in a prison. Drugs, alcohol, rebellion to living as God instructs, relationship strains and pains, and the list goes on. Last but worthy of mentioning first are the martyrs facing death in foreign countries.

I receive emails daily from “Voice of the Martyrs” and some Christians mentioned by name or not request prayers. Then prayers raised by the church of Jesus Christ they lift to God for those bold enough to hold on through persecution to their faith in Christ.

In today’s illustration from Acts 12, we learn an angel of the Lord rescues Peter in prison. His chains fell off, and Peter gets set free!

Now, for those who truly believe in God, this scripture is easily believable. Many doubt the power and reality of our great God and this becomes a fable. God forbid.

It is my belief that the Church of Jesus Christ should still pray bold prayers for those in prison. We should pray for those individuals by name if possible, before it is too late, and the enemy has his way. To often pride holds us back from admitting our loved ones are actually struggling and in prison, even of their own making.

As we learn from Acts 12:16, 17, Peter gets released from prison, all glory to God! And the people who prayed stood amazed! Isn’t that how it is when God answers our prayers and we see miracles? We stand amazed, in awe, actually profoundly surprised that God really answered and did that miracle we asked for!

Peter tells the church in Jerusalem exactly how God released him from prison. They listen on with awe.

And I would to as God releases loved ones, friends, or those facing persecution, from death, from prison, from a life of misery to one fully pledged to the living God.

A life that counts the cost and believes anyway, radically, wholeheartedly, and faithfully obeying God’s call to live as He asks.

Who is in “prison” that you know” Can you pray for them by name, ask the church to do the same?

Let us lift our voices in believing prayer on behalf of those in “prison.”

May we always remember those across the miles who boldly face persecution for their radical faith and obedience to God.

Let us wait upon God to release captives from prison.

He is able. Never doubt that for a minute.

We must never stop asking in prayer.

 

 

 

 

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