So Peter was kept in prison, but the Church was earnestly praying to God for him. Acts 12:5
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
The twelfth chapter of Acts begins with King Herod on the rampage against Christians -- both persecuting them and killing at least one, James, the brother of John, with the sword. Seeing this murder pleased the Jews, Herod also had Peter arrested. In the following verses, we see how earnest prayers made to God by the early Church delivered Peter from his cell when an "angel of the Lord appeared," freed him, and led him out of prison.
The Bible shows us many examples of people whose prayers were answered by God. But sometimes we fail to understand God's answers to our prayers, or we refuse to admit God's timing might not be our own. His answer to prayer may be in the affirmative; it may be declined altogether, or it may be answered at a later point in time.
Even in this gloomy and despairing situation, when Peter surely feared King Herod would carry out his threat to kill him, he continued to trust in the Lord and the effectiveness of prayers. Having witnessed the appalling torture and crucifixion of Jesus just a few weeks before, would be no small reason to shirk back from following Him now.
But, of course, the resurrection of Jesus Christ changed everything. Peter now knew that God works through circumstances that, though bleak and seemingly empty of hope, are part of His divine plan in the lives of His creatures.
Do you consider your difficult and trying situations from a Christian perspective? The words of this text encourage us to do just that -- to pray confidently in such circumstances and rely on God. It teaches us about the importance of praying -- both individually and communally -- and entrusting our lives to Him, who alone has the power to save.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to understand You hear all our prayers and answer them according to Your will. Help us to stay faithful through pain, hardship, and uncertainty so that we may glorify Your Name. In Jesus' most holy Name, we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: This devotion was written by Baipahoul Elie Marcelin, a church elder and Lutheran Hour Ministries-Cameroon volunteer. In this West African nation, LHM-Cameroon connects with citizens through Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops, MP3 downloads of Christian music and Bible verses, choir concerts, booklets, and youth ministry.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.