Acts 12:1-19 (NIV)
1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.
2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.
3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.
7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him.
9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.
10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.
Sometimes we get to place in our prayer life that we stop pushing and fervently praying for a situation because we feel there is no hope, or we are just tired of the situation we are in. And I question if Peter was at that point when he was placed in prison by King Herod. Naturally he didn’t see a way out of his situation. The word didn’t say that Peter was praying, at the point, he was placed in prison, but the scriptures did say that the church was earnestly praying for God to him (for Peter).
Peter was miraculously released from prison on the prayers of the believers. Peter was sleeping and the angel woke him up to lead him out of the prison. So, this tells me that prayer on behalf of another is powerful. Somebody’s release, blessing and miracle is in your mouth. No matter what the situation may look like just keep praying. Peter was surrounded by soldiers and laying in between two soldiers when God miraculously sent an angel to rescue him from his situation. His situation looked bleak, but God can make the impossible possible.
Sometimes we pray for things and don’t believe that God has answered and heard our very prayers. And I think of this story with the apostle Peter that was miraculously released from prison by an angel.
So, my message to you today is to keep knocking meaning keep praying until God answers your prayer. Pray with a fervency and urgency. God’s word declares in Isaiah 46:4 (NIV) Even to your old age and gray hairs. I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
God declares in his word that he will sustain and rescue us when we find ourselves in trouble. God is a bridge over troubled waters. Just like he did with Peter in the prison. King Herod had Peter sent to prison and guarded by four squads by four soldiers each and Peter fell asleep between two soldiers. When Peter realized that he was released from prison by an angel, and he went to the place where they were praying and begin to Knock on the door and when Rhoda being overjoyed didn’t open the door and went back to tell everybody Peter was at the door the Bible says in Acts 12:14-16 that they (the people praying for Peter) did not believe her. How many times have God answered our prayers or sent people to us and out of our disbelief or lack of faith we couldn’t receive it. We have to know beyond a shadow of doubt that God answers prayers. So, I charge you today to keep praying, interceding on behalf of a loved one or yourself and watch God miraculously come through for you.