“So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him” (Acts 12:5, NIV, 2011).
Acts 12 begins with King Herod beheading James the apostle, proceeds with the arrest of Peter, and follows with Herod posting many guards to watch him; it looks like Peter is going down too. But then the text says the church “prayed to God for him,” and, as a result, Peter was miraculously freed from his chains. The guards, in turn, were interrogated and ordered executed, and, finally, the chapter ends with Herod eaten by worms because he was acting like he was God. It’s all one great big inversion, a turnaround, moving from the church on the brink of destruction to the death of its archenemy, Herod, and right in the middle of it all the Bible says, “But the church was earnestly praying to God.” Prayer lies at the intersection of faith and hope; faith, because the church believes, and hope, because it refuses to give up. When the church kneels together, united, God frequently shakes things up, precisely what we’re hoping these prayer prompts will lead to! Today, we are praying for God’s protection for persecuted Christians the world over, people like Poonam and Muhindo. Please join us in prayer on their behalf and on behalf of others who, like them, are faithfully serving in places where the Good News is not welcome.