Listen to this devotional:
Acts 12:5 – But earnest prayer was going up to God from the Church for [Peter's] safety all the time he was in prison. (TLB)
What a ruckus! I was in the shower when it all began: the pounding of twenty-four canine paws flying up the stairs and around the corner to the bathroom door, and then, the barking began. I knew something really important was happening, and I needed to act quickly. Leaping from the shower, I grabbed a towel as I heard my daughter's footsteps rush by the closed door and down the staircase. Moments later, the dogs and I were in hot pursuit.
What happened was this. In the early morning hours, long before the sun was yet to rise on this cold winter's morn, an owl had swooped into our dog run and grabbed one of our miniature long-haired dachshunds. Fortunately, the owl had made contact with only one claw, which meant it did not have the power to lift off again with its prey. It was downed in our yard with Midge trapped underneath it, giving us time to rescue her.
Since then, our dog run has been fortified by fence extenders and a netting of overhead rope, providing safety from air attack for all the dogs.
Contemplating what happened to Midge that day, and how the other dogs alerted us to her plight, which in turn saved her, I found myself thinking of the tremendous power that is unleashed when Christians bring their concerns to God in prayer. When the apostle Peter was in jail awaiting execution, the people of God stormed the gates of heaven with their prayers, prayers which were answered as an angel of the Lord was dispatched to lead Peter to freedom.
In James 5, we are admonished to call the elders of the church if we are sick, to have them pray that we might be healed. We are to admit our faults to one another and to pray for each other that we may be healed, for the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. According to these verses, as well as many others, prayer equals power. Prayer works.
Let us therefore remember every day, as God's holy and chosen people, to let the power of prayer work for us. Though we are separated by time zones, miles, and cultures, in Christ, in prayer, we are one. We are one people, who, in Him, are able to approach the throne of grace boldly on behalf of those who are caught in the clutches of oppression, war, persecution, illness, and all pervasive forms of evil. We are one body whose Head has the power to raise the dead to life, to set the captives free, to heal the broken-hearted, and turn their darkness into light. So let us remember to pray, for prayer equals power. Prayer works.
Prayer: Father God and wonderful Lord and Saviour, we come before You, as one people in Christ, to pray. We lift our voices in the unity of prayer to plead for those who are injured and ill and for those caught by any and all forms of evil, sin, and oppression. Hear our prayers for them, O Lord, for healing and salvation, that Your name may be glorified throughout the earth now and forevermore. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.