Acts 12:5 (NKJV) Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant[a] prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The Church had neither human power nor political influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but there was help to be obtained by the way of Heaven. They gave themselves up to fervent, importunate prayer. God sent His angel, who aroused Peter from sleep and led him out through the first and second wards of the prison; and when they came to the iron gate, it opened to them of its own accord, and Peter was free.
There may be some iron gate in your life that has blocked your way. Like a caged animal you have often beaten against the bars, but instead of helping, you have only had to fall back tired, exhausted and discouraged at heart. There is a secret for you to learn, and that is believing in the power of prayer; and when you come to the iron gate, it will open of its own accord.
How much wasted energy and sore disappointment will be saved if you will learn to pray as did the Church in the upper room! Insurmountable difficulties will disappear; adverse circumstances will prove favorable if you learn to pray, not with your own faith but with the faith of God (Mark 11:22). When Emergencies call for intense prayer. When the man becomes the prayer nothing can resist its touch. Elijah on Mt. Carmel (I Kings 18), bowed down on the ground, with his face between his knees, that was prayer–the man himself.
The Bent-knee Time: No words are mentioned. Prayer can be too tense for words. The man’s whole being was in touch with God, and was set with God against the powers of evil. They couldn’t withstand such praying. There’s more of this embodied praying needed in our lives family of God!
Quote: Charles H. Spurgeon: “Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.”
Faithful is our God,
Pastor James Baker