Behind the scenes - Hope 103.2

Behind the scenes

By David ReayFriday 19 Sep 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Acts 12:1-7

1 About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. 2 He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. 3 When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people,he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) 4 Then he imprisoned him,placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. 5 But while Peter was in prison,the church prayed very earnestly for him.

6 The night before Peter was to be placed on trial,he was asleep,fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7 Suddenly,there was a bright light in the cell,and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said,”Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. (NLT)

It is highly likely that the soldiers and Herod and even Peter himself didn’t quite know what was happening here. Securely guarded,seemingly in mortal danger,Peter was in trouble. And yet he is rescued and quite inexplicably.

What we might not notice amidst the miraculous angelic intervention is the earnest prayers of the church for Peter. Intercession doesn’t usually draw attention to itself. Intercessors usually do their job in secret. They don’t draw a crowd and don’t hit the headlines. But their intercessions are expressions of faith and compassion which bring delight to God.

And yet just a couple of cautions: one is that not all intercessions get such a spectacular result as here. The link between our prayers and God’s action (or apparent inaction) is not simple. Another caution is that while our intercession may not be widely publicised,it is good for us to let people know we are praying for them. It is good we pray for others,it is even better if we can let them know we do so.

Ultimately,the most loving thing we can ever do for someone is to bring them to God and invite him to get to work in their lives. Amongst all the mysteries of intercession,this much at least is clear. Who knows what results will come from our prayers? Our task is not to figure out the answers but to show our love and faith through our prayers.

David Reay