21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 11: What Happens When the Church Prays
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Thousands of people fasting and praying together is setting the stage for God’s miraculous power unlike what we have ever seen before. There is something powerful in the number of people fighting spiritual battles together. In Acts 12, we see an amazing miracle as a result of the church praying together.
In your journey of prayer and fasting, you are realizing more and more just how powerful prayer is. And what’s exciting to think about is how you aren’t the only one fasting and praying during this time – countless others are doing the same thing.
We see in verse 5 says, “But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.” And in response to their earnest requests, God not only protected Peter from the coming sentencing, but he exceeded their expectations through a miraculous escape. We see in verses 7-10 that a supernatural prison break took place where an angel led Peter past multiple prison guards, the city gate opened all on its own, and no one could see him as he left.
Verses 12-17 show how even the believers were shocked and unsure it was really Peter when he showed up to the house where they were praying.
All of this is because the church earnestly sought the Lord.
Not only should this encourage you to continue to fight off the physical cravings for greater spiritual breakthrough, but it should also build your expectations and faith because when the church prays, the power is exponential.
So be encouraged that because we are all earnestly seeking the Lord together our prayers are not only being answered, but they are exponentially powerful. God is bringing breakthrough in ways we can’t even imagine.
Acts 12:1-17 (NLT)
About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) 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. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
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. 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. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.
So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.
Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
“You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.