In Order. Without Ceasing
November 20. Acts 11 – 12.
12:11 Peter finally realized what had happened! “It’s really true!” he said to himself. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jews were hoping to do to me!” (TLB)
Peter is thrown in prison after Herod had ordered the execution of James. James’ execution excited the Jews and Herod enjoyed the uptick he had in the polls with the people. And that was the real reason that Peter was now double-chained and under heavy guard in an interior cell.
This may be a familiar story, and certainly, an amazing miracle, that Peter was guided by an angel of God and delivered from that prison, and that his life was spared. God’s plans for Peter were not yet finished, that became obvious, but what precipitated this great miracle of deliverance is revealed in verse 5 of chapter 12.
12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. (KJV)
Elsewhere in the Bible, there is the clear instruction to pray without ceasing:
I Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.” (KJV)
Those two verses, at the very least, demand a pause to consider this potentially powerful option of consistent and persistent prayer.
What would happen, if your worry was converted to this type of prayer? What would happen, that instead of lying in bed at 3 AM trying to solve your problems, you were engaged in earnest prayer with the Creator of the universe?
Or, who do you know that is in some sort of bondage; an addiction, an abusive relationship, drowning in debt or bad decisions, depression, cancer, chronic disease, grief, or any other crushing weight? What would this type of prayer do for that person in their situation?
Oh, this type of prayer and commitment to prayer is uncommon and it will not be easy. If it were, you would not need this reminder and challenge to step up your prayer-game for a season and for a particular need. But this is the time. This is the moment, in this chronological reading through the Scriptures that this subject is presented.
Therefore it must be considered, and at least acknowledged that God’s timing is perfect, even as He delivered Peter at the perfect moment. And if that is true – what do you need to be praying for? Who do you need to be praying for? What are you waiting for? Start now and expect God to do what only He can in that situation.