Thursday, October 11
It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 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. 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.
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
These few verses in Acts give us an example that we ought to live by today. Prayer is more than enough. In my life I sometimes forget that prayer has the power to change a situation. In this short story, we see that in this time of need the church prayed for Peter, petitioning God on Peter’s behalf. It is good to bring to God all that is on our hearts, but it is especially important to bring prayers for those who are in trouble.
I find that so many times American Christians get caught up in a mindset focused on me and mine. We can sometimes be selfish, but prayer shouldn’t be that way! Our prayers need to go beyond ourselves, petitioning God for others.
There are times when it’s easy to pray for others, like this story in Acts. It’s obvious when someone close to us needs prayer. The challenge is praying for those who need prayer even when we don’t know them. Are we doing that? Are you praying for those who are in danger or hurting? Today let’s commit to praying no matter what, even for those we don’t know who are in danger.