July 24th

"About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.  He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and he he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.  This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.  And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.  So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church."  Acts 12: 1-5

When you read the Bible, do you ever have some questions about Why?  Why was James killed for serving Jesus and why was Peter delivered?  Why does on Christian suffer, get sick, and die?  And another Christian is healed and lives for many more years?

Here is one of those accounts in the Bible.  King Herod is a wicked king, and went after the followers of Jesus, and arrested them, and sent them to prison.  We see that Herod kills James the brother of John.  The religious Jews were excited about the death to the followers of Jesus.  So Herod arrests Peter and throws him into prison, and when Passover was completed then he would kill Peter as well.

In verse 5 we read - "So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church."  We see the power of prayer for the church then, and this needs to be the practice of the Christian and the Church today.  Prayer changes heaven and earth and the destiny of the lives of people.

Peter is in prison, and imagine what he was going through.  He knows that James was killed, and he is probably aware that he is going to be next.  Imagine the surroundings of Peter as he is in prison.  Picture what must of been going through his mind and his heart.

But while Peter is in prison, the church is praying to God for Peter!  Prayer is the weapon that we must fight with today!  We do not fight with fists, words, guns, hatred and violence, because fighting that way does not change anything.  But as followers of Jesus we need to fight in prayer!  We read in Ephesians 6:12 - "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, agains the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

Today, no matter what battle you are facing, problem you are going through, we need to know that others are praying for us!  When you know someone is struggling in life, a couple is going through marriage and a family is in a desperate situation, we need to pray to God for them!  When the church sees the condition of our city and nation, we need to pray to God on behalf of all that is going!

Prayer works! We may not see the answer right now, but God is working even when we do not see anything happening!  We pray because we have faith that God not only hears our prayers but answers our prayers!  We will pick up the story in next devotion!

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