Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. Acts 12:5
“You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.” If you hear those words, you might wonder if the person really means it. But you never had to wonder when Edna Davis said them. Everyone in the small, one stoplight town knew of “Ms. Edna’s” yellow legal pad—page after page, lined with name after name. Early each morning the aging woman prayed out loud to God. Not everyone on her list received the answer to prayer they wanted, but several testified at her funeral that something God-sized had happened in their lives, and they credited it to the earnest prayers of Ms. Edna.
God demonstrated the power of prayer in Peter’s prison experience. After the apostle was seized by Herod’s men, thrown into prison, and then “guarded by four squads of four soldiers each” (Acts 12:4), his prospects looked bleak. But “the church was earnestly praying to God for him” (v. 5). They had Peter in their thoughts and prayers. What God did is simply miraculous! An angel appeared to Peter in prison, released him from his chains, and led him to safety beyond the prison gates (vv. 7–10).
It’s possible some may use “thoughts and prayers” without really meaning it. But our Father knows our thoughts, listens to our prayers, and acts on our behalf according to His perfect will. To be prayed for and to pray for others is no small thing when we serve the great and powerful God.
When was the last time you knew someone remembered you and prayed earnestly for you? Who is someone you can pray that way for today?
Jesus, thank You that I can bring every care to You and that You listen.
Learn more about the basics of prayer.
Imprisoned by King Herod (Acts 12:1–4)—Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1)—Peter’s situation looked grim. Herod had just executed James the son of Zebedee (Acts 12:2). He was planning to “bring [Peter] out for public trial after the Passover” (v. 4), perhaps planning to publicly execute him then. Peter was held securely, bound by two chains, each connected to a soldier, while other soldiers stood guard (v. 6). His sudden deliverance by God’s angel was so unexpected that he appears initially to be in a daze, not sure it was really happening (vv. 9, 11).